Growing pains: the pros and cons of economic dynamism
Saturday 1 November, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Lecture Theatre 1

As the West reels from the economic nightmare of the credit crunch and looming recessions, the dream of economic dynamism still seems very much alive for the emerging economies. The world’s imagination is captured by the possibility of poor countries finally achieving the living standards of the developed world. But is the astonishing economic growth of the emerging economies a pain-free experience?

The benefits are clear. The most dynamic economies of the developing world are experiencing increased wealth, longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, high literacy and improved food security. But this dynamism is limited and uneven: for the millions left behind, life can seem more uncertain than ever. Many rural communities are being uprooted to make room for development, or hollowed out as the young and able leave for the cities. The bright lights of the city hold little comfort for most migrant labourers: they have few rights, no property, no community and are easily exploited.

Are brutal urbanism and rural decay the cost of economic expansion, the unavoidable growing pains of development? Or should we reconsider the benefits of growth with the hindsight of Western experience? The problems of urban squalor, insecurity and rural poverty have been largely eliminated in the developed world. But even in the most advanced countries of the West, concerns about climate change and the soulless character of materialist consumerism have led some to argue that development brings as many problems as solutions. Is this self-indulgence on the part of the West, or a cautionary tale for the developing world?

Professor Sanjaya Baru
visiting professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore; former media advisor and spokesman for Dr Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India; author, The Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance.
Daniel Ben-Ami
journalist and author, Ferraris for All: in defence of economic progress and Cowardly Capitalism
Martin Wolf
associate editor and chief economics commentator, Financial Times; author, Fixing Global Finance
Dr Ha-Joon Chang
reader in political economy, University of Cambridge; author, Bad Samaritans – Rich Nations, Poor Policies, and the Threat to Developing World and Kicking Away the Ladder.
Paul Mason
broadcaster; author, Financial Meltdown and the End of the Age of Greed; technology editor, BBC's Newsnight
Stuart Simpson
financial services professional; researcher and writer, emerging economies and quantitative finance

 Produced by
Stuart Simpson financial services professional; researcher and writer, emerging economies and quantitative finance

Ceri Dingle director, WORLDwrite & WORLDbytes

Patrick Hayes director, British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)

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