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Rosenstein-Rodan’s framework

作者:林毅夫   出版社:未知  和讯读书
  Another important question has been to understand how technological

  diffusion takes place across countries and generates or sustains growth—

  and why it does not take root in others. Various interesting possibilities

  have recently been explored in an attempt to answer that critical question

  (Jones 1998; Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson 2001; Glaeser and

  Shleifer 2002). Both on the theoretical and empirical fronts, progress has

  been made in our understanding of growth in recent decades. However,

  growth research still faces signifi cant methodological diffi culties and challenges

  in identifying actionable policy levers to sustain and accelerate

  growth in specifi c countries. Intellectual progress has been even slower

  in the particular domain of development theories. It took a paper by

  Rosenstein-Rodan (1943) to bring development issues to the forefront of

  the discipline. The paper suggested that the virtuous circle of development

  depended essentially on the interaction between economies of scale at the

  level of individual fi rms and the size of the market. Specifi cally, it assumed

  that modern methods of production can be made more productive than

  traditional ones only if the market is large enough for their productivity

  edge to compensate for the necessity of paying higher wages. But the size of

  the market itself depends on the extent to which these modern techniques

  are adopted. Therefore, if the modernization process can be started on a

  very large scale, then the process of economic development will be selfreinforcing

  and self-sustaining. If not, countries will be indefi nitely trapped

  in poverty.

  Rosenstein-Rodan’s framework sparked a wave of similar ideas (Chang

  1949; Lewis 1954; Myrdal 1957; Hirschman 1958) which came to be

  known as the structuralist approach to economic development. These early

  development theories held that the market encompassed insurmountable

  defects and that the state was a powerful supplementary means to accelerate

  the pace of economic development (Rosenstein-Rodan 1943; Nurkse 1953;

  Hirschman 1958). The slump of international trade in the Great Depression

  led to export pessimism in the post-War period. In Latin America, for

  instance, political leaders and social elites were infl uenced strongly by the

  deterioration in the terms of trade, the economic diffi culty encountered

  during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and the thesis developed by

  Prebisch (1950) and Singer (1950). They believed that the decline in the

  terms of trade against the export of primary commodities was secular and

  led to the transfer of income from resource-intensive developing countries

  to capital-intensive developed countries. They argued that the way for a

  developing country to avoid being exploited by developed countries was

  to develop domestic manufacturing industries through a process known as

  import substitution. Moreover, the emergence of previous colonies or semicolonies

  as newly independent states in Asia and the Middle East, and later

  in Africa, was accompanied by strong nationalist sentiments.

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