Commission on Growth and Development

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The Growth Commission’s reports identify the ingredients that, if used in the right country-specific recipe, can deliver growth and help lift populations out of poverty. The Commission, consisting of 19 experienced leaders and 2 Nobel prize-winning economists, has released several commission reports, thematic volumes, and background working papers. The spring 2010 volume is the final book from the Commission. The Commission is succeeded by The Growth Dialogue.

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  • Publication
    Export Diversification and Economic Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Hesse, Heiko
    Export diversification can lead to higher growth. Developing countries should diversify their exports since this can, for example, help them to overcome export instability or the negative impact of terms of trade in primary products. The process of economic development is typically a process of structural transformation where countries move from producing "poor-country goods" to "rich-country goods." Export diversification does play an important role in this process. The author also provides robust empirical evidence of a positive effect of export diversification on per capita income growth. This effect is potentially nonlinear with developing countries benefiting from diversifying their exports in contrast to the most advanced countries that perform better with export specialization.
  • Publication
    Chilean Growth through East Asian Eyes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Kharas, Homi; Leipziger, Danny; Maloney, William; Thillainathan, R.; Hesse, Heiko
    Chile could well have space to increase its growth potential by 2 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year. To do this, it would need to pay more attention to new sources of growth in natural resources, manufacturing, and services. In an increasingly globalized world, first-mover advantages have become more numerous and larger. Chile risks losing out, as a few recent high-profile cases suggest. Chile's total factor productivity growth can be raised by driving within-firm technological change closer to the global best-practice frontier more rapidly, especially in manufacturing. This would encourage the diversification of exports and boost Chile's supply response to global demand changes. Chile confronts obstacles in its processes of innovation, human capital accumulation, and investment. To overcome them, deep institutional changes are needed to develop a national innovation system, stronger and more equitable educational achievement, more flexible labor markets, and focused public investments that crowd in private business. Such an inclusive growth strategy is likely to yield better social outcomes than a strategy that attempts to confront social inequities head-on through more equitable access to public services without paying adequate attention to the demand for labor and generation of income. Chile could also try a new policy towards innovation, but it would need to be bolder in terms of the institutional design to maximize the chances of success.