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.
journalist and author, Ferraris for All: in defence of economic progress and Cowardly Capitalism
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.
broadcaster; author, Financial Meltdown and the End of the Age of Greed; technology editor, BBC's Newsnight
financial services professional; researcher and writer, emerging economies and quantitative finance
I have a six-year-old son. His name is Jin-Gyu. He lives off me, yet he is quite capable of making a living. After all, millions of children of his age already have jobs in poor countries.Ha-Joon Chang, Independent, 23 July 2008
Almost all rich countries got wealthy by protecting infant industries and limiting foreign investment. But these countries are now denying poor ones the same chance to grow by forcing free-trade rules on them before they are strong enoughHa-Joon Chang, Prospect, July 2008
Why should we care about the debacle of a World Bank report? Because this report represents the final collapse of the “development expert” paradigm that has governed the west’s approach to poor countries since the second world war.William Easterly, FT.com, 28 May 2008
Fast sustained growth is not a miracle; it is attainable for developing countries with the "right mix of ingredients."Commission on Growth and Development, 21 May 2008
Rich and powerful governments and institutions are actually being 'Bad Samaritans': their intentions are worthy but their simplistic free-market ideology and poor understanding of history leads them to inflict policy errors on others.
Ha-Joon Chang, Random House Business Books, 1 May 2008
A Chinese woman pushes her way to the front of a hiring queue outside a factory in Shenzhen -- A Bolivian miner, without light or ventilation, crawls deep inside a deserted mine -- A group of Somali cleaners files into an investment bank in London's Canary Wharf -- Globalisation has created a whole new working class - and they are reliving stories that were first played out a century ago.
Paul Mason, Vintage, 7 February 2008
Wolf explains how globalization works, critiques the charges against it, argues that the biggest obstacle to global economic progress has been the failure not of the market but of governments, and offers a realistic scenario for economic internationalism in the post-9/11 age.
Martin Wolf, Yale University Press, 4 February 2005
Daniel Ben-Ami, John Wiley & Sons, 9 March 2001
Gives critical insights into the massive human and economic costs of inequality and poverty and proposes realistic solutions.Oxfam International