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Ways out of poverty : diffusing best practices and creating capabilities - perspectives on policies for poverty reduction


  • Klein, Michael


Fundamentally, poverty reduction is about bringing growth processes to poor areas. Because poor areas can benefit from technical and organizational innovations made elsewhere in the world, it is possible today to create productive jobs faster and in greater quantity than ever before. The puzzle is what helps spread such"best practices."Saving, investment, education, resources, and new technology are all needed-and fairly easy to obtain. What is hard to obtain are the institutions that allow these factors of production to be combined and translated into productive job creation. Firms are the key vehicles that spread best practices and productive jobs to areas where poor people live. Because we can never be sure which firm will be successful, it is necessary that new firms can enter markets, that substandard firms are allowed to fail, and that good firms face few barriers to growth. This is the definition of competition, and competition is what selects good firms and thus drives the spread of best practice and productive jobs. Governments need to provide the framework in which capable firms can emerge. Yet, the right mix of state activity and how it best interacts with firms are not fully understood. Some selection mechanism, which allows for policy experiments and selects successful ones, is valuable for national, provincial, and local governments. Thus competition among jurisdictions and firms is an integral part of dynamic social systems that hold promise for creating wealth and ending poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Michael, 2003. "Ways out of poverty : diffusing best practices and creating capabilities - perspectives on policies for poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2990, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2990

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
    2. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Harding & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2004. "Survival and Success among African Manufacturing Firms," Development and Comp Systems 0409046, EconWPA.
    2. Esther K. Ishengoma & Robert Kappel, 2006. "Economic Growth and Poverty: Does Formalisation of Informal Enterprises Matter?," GIGA Working Paper Series 20, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    3. Susan Milcher & Ben Slay, 2005. "The economics of the 'European Neighbourhood Policy': An initial assessment," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0291, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Francis Teal & Alan Harding & Måns Söderbom, 2004. "Survival and Success among African Manufacturing Firms," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. World Bank, 2005. "Afghanistan : State Building, Sustaining Growth, and Reducing Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7318.


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