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Economic Reform and Economic Performance: Evidence from 20 Developing Countries

  • White, Howard
  • Leavy, Jennifer

Do adjustment policies assist or retard growth? This paper presents data on economic performance (aggregate and sectoral growth, inflation, investment and external account) for 20 countries. The data are classified on an annual basis according to the country’s policy stance in that year: controlled economy, partially or fully liberalised. This approach allows both control-group and before-versus-after analyses which are combined with a review of growth regressions and an analysis of case study material on adjustment. The evidence suggests three hypotheses. First, countries with controlled economies have performed badly compared with those which have moved towards greater market orientation. Second, economic performance does not differ greatly between fully-fledged market economies and partially liberalised ones: partly because several countries have pursued liberalisation with no improvement in performance. Third, given that there is little difference in manufacturing and agricultural growth between full and partial liberalisers yet overall growth is more rapid for the former, the additional growth must be in the service sector. These hypotheses suggest that the balance between state and market should be tilted more toward the state than is currently supported by international development agencies.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6594/1/MPRA_paper_6594.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 6594.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in European Journal of Development Research 2.13(2001): pp. 120-143
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6594
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  1. Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1998. "The urban labour market during structural adjustment: Ethiopia 1990-1997," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Otani, Ichiro & Villanueva, Delano, 1990. "Long-term growth in developing countries and its determinants: An empirical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 769-783, June.
  3. Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2000. "Assessing Aid: A Manifesto for Aid in the 21st Century?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 5-18.
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