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IntroductionI

作者:林毅夫   出版社:未知  和讯读书
  The quest for sustainable growth has been the most intriguing topic in the

  world for economists and policy makers since Adam Smith’s An Inquiry

  into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was published in

  1776. Measured by today’s living standards, all countries in the world

  were poor at the beginning of the 18th century. Their economies were predominately

  based on agriculture. Growth of gross domestic product (GDP)

  per capita had lingered at around 0.05 percent a year for millennia. Only

  after the onset of the Industrial Revolution did per capita income growth

  in the now advanced countries accelerate, jumping to around 1 percent a

  year in the 19th century and doubling to about 2 percent in the 20th century.

  This was an unimaginable change. While it took about 1,400 years

  for world income to double before the 18th century, the same process took

  only about 70 years in the 19th century and only 35 years in the 20th century

  for the now advanced countries (Maddison 1995). Nevertheless, the

  acceleration of growth was largely limited to the United Kingdom, where

  the Industrial Revolution began, a few western European economies, and

  Britain’s “offshoots”: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United

  States (Maddison 1982). The result was a great divergence in income

  levels as the ratio of the top few to the majority bottom-income countries

  increased from 8.7 in 1870 to 38 by 1960 (Pritchett 1997).

  After World War II, most countries in the developing world gained

  economic and political independence and started their postwar or postindependence

  reconstruction. By the end of the 20th century, a small set of

  developing countries was able to achieve prolonged high growth, catching

  up with or signifi cantly narrowing their gap with the advanced industrial

  economies. Japan, in 1950 a developing country with a per capita

  income one-fi fth of the United States, reached 63 percent of U.S. income

  by 1970 and became the world’s second-largest economy. Japan’s rise was

  the result of an impressive annual growth performance of 9.6 percent during

  the 1950s and 1960s, driven by the transformation from an agrarian

  to an industrial economy and continuous upgrading in key manufacturing

  sectors. Using an outward-oriented, market-friendly development strategy,

  the Asian Tigers—Hong Kong SAR, China; the Republic of Korea;

  Singapore; and Taiwan, China—grew in excess of 7 percent annually

  between the early 1960s and the early 1990s, demonstrating that it is

  possible to maintain impressive growth rates and to close the gap with

  advanced economies. More recently, growth in several large economies,

  such as China, Brazil, and India, has taken off, turning them into new

  global growth poles (World Bank 2011). These high growth rates have

  led to a signifi cant reduction in poverty. Between 1981 and 2005, the

  percentage of people living below US$1.25 a day was halved, falling from

  52 percent to 26 percent. This drop in poverty was nowhere as apparent

  as in my home country, China. In 1981 a staggering 84 percent of Chinese

  lived in poverty. By 2005 this proportion had fallen to 16 percent—well

  below the average for the developing world.

  Although the occurrence of high, sustained growth further diversifi ed

  in the 21th century to some Sub-Saharan African and Latin American

  countries, such growth still remains the exception rather than the rule.

  Most developing countries suffered from prolonged uninterrupted spells of

  anemic growth (Reddy and Minoui 2009). Between 1960 and 2009, only

  about one third of low-income countries reached at least middle-income

  status. Despite the rising weight of middle-income countries in supporting

  global growth, many of them have been stuck in the “middle-income trap.”

  Of the countries that were independent and had middle-income status in

  1960, almost three-fourths remained middle-income or had regressed to

  low-income by 2009. The ones that made it to high-income status are

  Introduction | 3

  countries in Western Europe, Japan, the Asian Tigers, and two island economies

  in Latin America (Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago). If we can

  learn from the failed development attempts by most developing countries

  and especially the few successes, explore the nature and determinants of

  economic growth, and provide policy makers with the tools to unleash

  their country’s growth potential, poverty could become within a generation

  or two a memory of the past.

  Sustained economic growth cannot happen without structural changes

  (Kuznets 1966). All countries that remain poor have failed to achieve

  structural transformation, that is, they have been unable to diversify away

  from agriculture and the production of traditional goods into manufacturing

  and other modern activities. In Sub-Saharan Africa, which constitutes

  the core of the development challenge today, agriculture continues to play

  a dominant role, accounting for 63 percent of the labor force. Its share of

  manufacturing in 2005 was lower than in 1965 (Lin 2011). Recent empirical

  work confi rms that the bulk of the difference in growth between Asia

  and developing countries in Latin America and Africa can be explained

  by the contribution of structural change to overall labor productivity

  (McMillan and Rodrik 2011).

  

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