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Structural transformation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)


  • Naudé, Wim

    () (Maastricht School of Management)

  • Szirmai, Adam

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Haraguchi, Nobuya

    () (UNIDO)


This paper provides a comparative overview of the experiences of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) with structural transformation since the 1980s. We evaluate the different outcomes in industrialisation in these countries, explore the reasons for success (and failure); we also ask what currently industrially lagging countries can learn from the BRICS in this regard, and what impact their industrialisation had on poverty reduction. We point out that important areas for future research and current challenges remain. Foremost in this is the need for BRICS to drive their further structural economic transformation through innovation, taking into consideration their stage of development and the particulars of the sectors involved. As they develop, entrepreneurship and the role of the private sector seem to become more important. The paper is based on our edited book published in 2015 by Oxford University Press 'Structural Change and Industrial Development in the BRICS'.

Suggested Citation

  • Naudé, Wim & Szirmai, Adam & Haraguchi, Nobuya, 2016. "Structural transformation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)," MERIT Working Papers 2016-016, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2016016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1996. "Notes on the life cycle of state-led industrialization," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 153-174, June.
    2. Naude, Wim & Szirmai, Adam & Haraguchi, Nobuya (ed.), 2015. "Structural Change and Industrial Development in the BRICS," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198725077.
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    More about this item


    Structural change; industrialisation; manufacturing; development; entrepreneurship; innovation; Brazil; Russia; India; China; and South Africa (BRICS);

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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