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Shifting patterns of economic growth and rethinking development

  • Lin, Justin Yifu
  • Rosenblatt, David

This paper provides an historical overview of both the evolution of the economic performance of the developing world and the evolution of economic thought on development policy. The 20th century was broadly characterized by divergence between high-income countries and the developing world, with only a limited number (less than 10 percent of the economies in the world) managing to progress out of lower or middle-income status to high-income status. The last decade witnessed a sharp reversal from a pattern of divergence to convergence --particularly for a set of large middle-income countries. The latter phenomenon was also driven by increasing economic ties among developing countries, and on the intellectual scale, increased knowledge generation and sharing among the developing countries. Re-thinking development policy implies confronting these realities: 20th century economic divergence, the experience of the handful of success stories, and the recent rise of the multi-polar growth world. The paper provides descriptive data and a literature survey to document these trends. The paper also provides a brief survey of the role of multilateral institutions -- in particular, the World Bank -- in this changing context and offers suggestions on how they can adapt their strategies to improve development outcomes.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6040.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6040
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  1. David I. Harvey & Neil M. Kellard & Jakob B. Madsen & Mark E. Wohar, 2010. "The Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis: Four Centuries of Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 367-377, May.
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  3. Adams-Kane, Jonathon & Lim, Jamus Jerome, 2011. "Growth poles and multipolarity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5712, The World Bank.
  4. Antonio Antunes & Tiago Cavalcanti & Anne Villamil, 2006. "The Effect of Financial Repression & Enforcement on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development," Development Economics Working Papers 21816, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo & Xiaokai Yang, 2000. "Economic Reforms and Constitutional Transition," CID Working Papers 43, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  6. Lin, Justin Yifu & Li, Zhiyun, 2008. "Policy burden, privatization and soft budget constraint," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 90-102, March.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  8. Rogers, F. Halsey, 2010. "The global financial crisis and development thinking," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5353, The World Bank.
  9. World Bank, 2005. "Economic Growth in the 1990s : Learning from a Decade of Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7370.
  10. Heckelman, Jac C. & Knack, Stephen & Rogers, F. Halsey, 2011. "Crossing the threshold : an analysis of IBRD graduation policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5531, The World Bank.
  11. Fu, Xiaolan & Gong, Yundan, 2011. "Indigenous and Foreign Innovation Efforts and Drivers of Technological Upgrading: Evidence from China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1213-1225, July.
  12. Das, Jishnu & Do, Quy-Toan & Shaines, Karen & Srinivasan, Sowmya, 2009. "U.S. and them : the geography of academic research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5152, The World Bank.
  13. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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