Explaining Success and Failure in Development
Since 1950, there has been considerable diversity in developing country experiences. Some countries and some regions have experienced rapid growth and catch up, others have fallen behind. At a global level there is an increasing inequality of per capita incomes. However, within the framework of increasing inequality, some countries have experienced accelerated catch up. The speed of catch up in the successful countries is more rapid than in previous historical periods. This paper analyses the sources of success and failure in economic development in the post-war period. It applies a framework of proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality. Proximate factors refer to the directly quantifiable economic sources of growth, intermediate factors refer to demand and policies, ultimate sources refer to the deeper historical, cultural, geographic and institutional sources of development. Monocausal explanations of success and failure are rejected. However, amongst the various sources of growth, the paper places special emphasis on developing countries' ability to tap into global knowledge flows. There is not a single example of successful catch up since 1868 which did not involve tapping into international technology. The extent to which countries can profit from international technology flows depends on their absorptive capacities, technological capabilities and systems of innovation.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht|
Phone: (31) (0)43 3883875
Fax: (31) (0)43 3216518
Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Vernon W. Ruttan, 2002.
"Productivity Growth in World Agriculture: Sources and Constraints,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 161-184, Fall.
- Ruttan, Vernon W., 2002. "Productivity Growth In World Agriculture: Sources And Constraints," Staff Papers 14176, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
- Dani Rodrik, 2008. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Banks Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 55(2), pages 135-156, June.
- Dani Rodrik, 2006. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank's Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 973-987, December.
- Helliwell, John F., 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 225-248, April.
- John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lall, Sanjaya, 1992. "Technological capabilities and industrialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 165-186, February.
- Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Szirmai,Adam, 2005. "The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521520843, November.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, November.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2006. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855266, November.
- Fagerberg, Jan & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. "Technology-gaps, innovation-diffusion and transformation: an evolutionary interpretation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1291-1304, December.
- Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2001. "Technology-Gaps, Innovation-Diffusion And Transformation: An Evolutionary Interpretation," Working Papers 11, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Michael Faye & John McArthur & Jeffrey Sachs & Thomas Snow, 2004. "The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 31-68.
- Eichengreen, Barry, 2000. "Taming Capital Flows," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1105-1116, June.
- Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-698, June.
- Larry Westphal, 2002. "Technology Strategies For Economic Development In A Fast Changing Global Economy," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4-5), pages 275-320.
- Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, July.
- Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
- Nuvolari, Alessandro, 2006. "The Making of Steam Power Technology: A Study of Technical Change during the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(02), pages 472-476, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)