Publication: The Growth Report : Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development

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Commission on Growth and Development
The report has four main parts. In the first, the commission reviews the 13 economies that have sustained, high growth in the postwar period. Their growth models had some common flavors: the strategic integration with the world economy; the mobility of resources, particularly labor; the high savings and investment rates; and a capable government committed to growth. The report goes on to describe the cast of mind and techniques of policy making that leaders will need if they are to emulate such a growth model. It concludes that their policy making will need to be patient, pragmatic, and experimental. In the second part, the commission lays out the ingredients a growth strategy might include. These range from public investment and exchange rate policies to land sales and redistribution. A list of ingredients is not enough to make a dish, of course, as Bob Solow, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a member of the Commission, points out. The commission, however, refrains from offering policy makers a recipe, or growth strategy, to follow. This is because no single recipe exists. Timing and circumstance will determine how the ingredients should be combined, in what quantities, and in what sequence. Formulating a full growth strategy, then, is not a job for this Commission but for a dedicated team of policy makers and economists, working on a single economy over time. Instead of a country-specific recipe, the commission offers some more general thoughts on the opportunities and constraints faced by nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, countries rich in resources, small states with fewer than 2 million people, and middle-income countries that have lost their economic momentum. In the final part of the report, the commission discusses global trends that are beyond the control of any single developing-country policy maker. Global warming is one example; the surge in protectionist sentiment another; the rise of commodity prices a third. In addition, the commission discusses the aging of the world population and the potential dangers of America's external deficit. These trends are new enough that the 13 high-growth economies of the postwar period did not have to face them. The question is whether they now make it impossible for other countries to emulate that postwar success.
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Commission on Growth and Development. 2008. The Growth Report : Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development. © Washington, DC : World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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