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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    Political Competition, Policy Making, and the Quality of Public Policies in Costa Rica
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Lehoucq, Fabrice
    This paper uses a case study of Costa Rica to identify the reasons why democracy is conducive for development. By the mid-twentieth century, Costa Rica had begun to depart from the all-too-common mixture of political instability and economic stagnation characteristic of much of the developing world. This paper claims that this country has benefited from better-than-average public policies, a conclusion based upon an original assessment of policy effectiveness and a major comparative ranking of state policies. It largely rejects the interpretation that uncommon development performance stems from institutions created during the colonial period and instead emphasizes how unending political stalemates gradually made the struggle for power more democratic. A central conclusion of this paper is that political competition-as well as steady economic growth rates and development, more generally-interact with and reinforce each other so that the exercise of power foments rather than retards economic growth.