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9 November 2017
This path breaking book is edited by three globally renowned ESID experts on the politics of economic development, Lant Pritchett, Kunal Sen and Eric Werker. The book advances a new conceptual framework for understanding how economic growth is ignited and maintained in a range of developing countries. It investigates how relationships – “deals” – between political and economic actors explain why it is rare to see growth episodes being sustained in the developing world, and why developing countries have seen such differential success, both in igniting economic growth and in transforming growth accelerations into growth sustenance.
Eleven chapters by ESID experts feature specific country examples across a wide spectrum of institutional and political contexts in Africa and Asia. Country cases range from Bangladesh to Cambodia, Malawi to India. The book is brilliantly useful in providing actionable levers to create reform and improve countries’ chances of bringing about transformative and sustainable economic growth.
Here’s what celebrated economists say:
“Pritchett, Sen, and Werker show intellectual courage in taking on one of the most inconvenient facts about economic growth and development – that most countries have unstable growth rates, shifting from boom to bust and back again. They challenge the prevailing institutionalist consensus, which they convincingly argue is unhelpful for confronting that instability of growth. Instead, they lay out a world of ‘deals’ among political and economic actors which can support a transition from bust to book, but can also unravel so that the boom is not sustained. These intrepid authors will change the way you see economic growth.“
“The Holy Grail of development is a flexible framework for understanding when the political circumstances are consistent with the economic activities we all know lead to growth. Explaining this flexible framework in detail, Deals and Development advances a powerful set of new concepts.”
“This book is built around two facts that are widely known but poorly appreciated: developing countries grow much faster than rich countries, but unfortunately developing countries also shrink much faster, and they shrink much more often. Slow growth is not the result of slow growing, but of more frequent and rapid shrinking. Pritchett, Sen and Werker tackle the source of this pattern with an intriguing conceptual framework and a series of detailed case studies. This is an important book, both for contributions and for identifying a weakness in how we think about economic development.”
2 November 2017
Sabyasachi Kar is author of the insightful book The Political Economy of India’s Growth Episodes with Kunal Sen. On the release of the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings, Sabyasachi outlines how the framework developed in their book provides a game-changing way of identifying the conditions for better business in India.
The World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) rankings for 2018 have just come out and India has made a very significant jump, improving its rank from 130th in 2017 to 100th. These rankings are based on the country’s performance in several areas, like starting a business, getting construction permits, getting electricity, contract enforcement, etc.— fields where India has traditionally done very poorly, resulting in its global rankings hovering around the 130s during the last decade. This had prompted the current government to initiate a slew of business-friendly institutional reforms, including “Make In India”, simplification of tax procedures, bankruptcy laws and so on. All of these seem to have led to the big jump in India’s ranking. Continue Reading →
5th October 2017
The underlying political settlement within countries too often provides political elites with insufficient incentives to enact the institutional reforms needed for further growth and structural transformation
The original developmental states of East Asia had one unifying economic characteristic: they witnessed almost uninterrupted rapid economic growth for well over four decades. This is very different from what we have observed for other developing countries, where economic growth has been boom and bust, defined by a rapid growth acceleration followed by a deceleration that at times was quite prolonged. With the exception of China, no other country has observed rapid sustained growth in the past few decades.
Why have we seen so few examples of countries with developmental state properties when it comes to economic growth? Is it due to the lack of political and economic space for nation-states in low and middle income countries to chart their own independent path to industrialisation and structural transformation in the current liberal economic order, where the forces of globalisation are too strong to be kept at bay? Or are there other explanations for the lack of examples of successful developmental states in the Global South today? Continue Reading →
2nd October 2017
Last month, Marion Ouma of the University of South Africa presented her excellent paper to the DSA Conference. Drawing from the nexus of policy transfer and Foucauldian perspective on power, the paper investigates the extent to which power relations determined the uptake of social protection policy and programmes in Kenya.