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
    Equity and Growth in a Globalizing World : Commission on Growth and Development
    (World Bank, 2010) Kanbur, Ravi; Spence, Michael
    The commission on growth and development was established in April 2006 in response to two insights: people do not talk about growth enough, and when they do, they speak with unearned conviction. The workshops turned out to be intense, lively affairs, lasting up to three days. It became clear that experts do not always agree, even on issues that are central to growth. But the Commission had no wish to disguise or gloss over these uncertainties and differences. And it did not want to present a false confidence in its conclusions beyond that justified by the evidence. While researchers will continue to improve people's understanding of the world, policy makers cannot wait for scholars to satisfy all of their doubts or resolve their differences. Decisions must be made with only partial knowledge of the world. One consequence is that most policy decisions, however well informed, take on the character of experiments, which yield useful information about the way the world works, even if they do not always turn out the way policy makers had hoped. It is good to recognize this fact, if only so that policy makers can be quick to spot failures and learn from mistakes. In principle, a commission on growth could have confined its attention to income per person, setting aside the question of how income is distributed. But this commission chose otherwise. It recognized that growth is not synonymous with development. To contribute significantly to social progress, growth must lift everyone's sights and improve the living standards of a broad swath of society. The Commission has no truck with the view that growth only enriches the few, leaving poverty undisturbed and social ills untouched.
  • Publication
    Growth Strategies and Dynamics: Insights from Country Experiences
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) El-Erian, Mohamed A.; Spence, Michael
    The paper examines the challenges that developing countries face in accelerating and sustaining growth. The cases of China and India are examined to illustrate a more general phenomenon which might be called model uncertainty. As a developing economy grows, its market and regulatory institutions change and their capabilities increase. As a result, growth strategies and policies and the role of government shift. Further, as the models of economies in these transitional states are incomplete and because models used to predict policy impacts in advanced economies may not provided accurate predictions in the developing economy case, growth strategies and policies need to be responsive and to evolve as the economy matures. This has lead governments in countries that have sustained high growth to be somewhat pragmatic, to treat the policy directions that emerge from the advanced economy model with circumspection, to be somewhat experimental in seeking to accelerate export diversification, to be sensitive to risks, and as a result to proceed gradually in areas such as the timing and sequencing of opening up on the current and capital accounts. The last is an area in which existing theory provides relatively little specific guidance, but in which there are relatively high risks that decline over time as the market matures.