IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

New structural economics : a framework for rethinking development

  • Lin, Justin Yifu

As strategies for achieving sustainable growth in developing countries are re-examined in light of the financial crisis, it is critical to take into account structural change and its corollary, industrial upgrading. Economic literature has devoted a great deal of attention to the analysis of technological innovation, but not enough to these equally important issues. The new structural economics outlined in this paper suggests a framework to complement previous approaches in the search for sustainable growth strategies. It takes the following into consideration: First, an economy's structure of factor endowments evolves from one stage of development to another. Therefore, the optimal industrial structure of a given economy will be different at different stages of development. Each industrial structure requires corresponding infrastructure (both"hard"and"soft") to facilitate its operations and transactions. Second, each stage of economic development is a point along the continuum from a low-income agrarian economy to a high-income industrialized economy, not a dichotomy of two economic development stages ("poor"versus"rich"or"developing"versus"industrialized"). Industrial upgrading and infrastructure improvement targets in developing countries should not necessarily draw from those that existin high-income countries. Third, at each given stage of development, the market is the basic mechanism for effective resource allocation. However, economic development as a dynamic process requires industrial upgrading and corresponding improvements in"hard"and"soft"infrastructure at each stage. Such upgrading entails large externalities to firms'transaction costs and returns to capital investment. Thus, in addition to an effective market mechanism, the government should play an active role in facilitating industrial upgrading and infrastructure improvements.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5197.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5197
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5197. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.