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AbstractThe "rise of Asia" is something of a myth. During 1990-2005 China accounted for 28 percent of global growth, measured at purchasing power parity (PPP). India accounted for 9 percent. The rest of developing Asia, with nearly a billion people, accounted for only 7 percent, the same as Latin America. Hence there is no general success of Asian developing economies. China has grown better than its developing neighbors because it started its reform with a better base of human capital, has been more open to foreign trade and investment, and created good investment climates in coastal cities. China's success changes the equation going forward: its wages are now two to three times higher than in the populous Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam), and China will become an ever-larger importer of natural resource and labor-intensive products. Developing countries need to become more open and improve their investment climates to benefit from these opportunities. China itself faces new challenges that could hamper its further development: unsustainable trade imbalance with the United States, energy and water scarcity and unsustainable use of natural resources, and growing inequality and social tension. To address the first two of these challenges, good cooperation between China and the United States is essential. The author concludes that we are more likely to be facing a "multi-polar century," than an Asian century.
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The Growth Report : Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive DevelopmentCommission on Growth and Development (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2012-05-29)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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