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
    Economic Reforms, Growth, and Governance: The Political Economy Aspects of Bangladesh's Development Surprise
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Mahmud, Wahiduddin; Ahmed, Sadiq; Mahajan, Sandeep
    Bangladesh has in recent decades achieved reasonably rapid economic growth and significant progress in social development indicators despite many impediments: the desperate initial conditions after gaining independence, lack of resources, natural disasters, widespread corruption, and a record of systemic governance failure. By identifying the sources of growth stimulus and the drivers of social transformation, the paper addresses what it calls Bangladesh's development surprise. The policy-making process is analyzed as the outcome of incentives created by patronage politics as opposed to the compulsion for the government to play an effective developmental role. The paper examines the governance-growth nexus as affecting the pace and quality of growth and its inclusiveness. If the governance environment has been barely adequate to cope with an economy breaking out of stagnation and extreme poverty, it increasingly may prove a barrier to putting the economy firmly on a path of modernization and global integration. Bangladesh's experience also shows that it is possible to make rapid initial progress in many social development indicators by creating awareness through successful social mobilization campaigns and by reaping the gains from affordable low-cost solutions. Further progress, however, will require increased public social spending and improved quality of public service delivery.
  • Publication
    Battles Half Won: The Political Economy of India's Growth and Economic Policy since Independence
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Ahmed, Sadiq; Varshney, Ashutosh
    Rapid growth since 1980 has transformed India from the world's 50th ranked economy in nominal U.S. dollars to the 10th largest in 2005. The growth of per capita income has helped reduce poverty. At the same time, evidence suggests that income inequality is rising and that the gap in average per capita income between the rich and poor states is growing. This paper reviews India's long term growth experience with a view to understanding the determinants of growth and the underlying political economy. The paper looks specifically at the political economy of India's growth transformation from a low-growth environment (pre-1980s) to a rapid-growth environment (post 1980s) and asks how sustainable is this transformation in view of concerns about regional disparity and income inequality. The paper concludes that the pledge that India's post-independence leadership had undertaken to abolish mass poverty remains only partially redeemed. Half the battle still lies ahead. Many more would like the fruits of the economic boom to come to them. The greatest challenge for India's policy makers today is to balance the growth momentum with inclusionary policies.