Growth and Policy in Developing Countries: A Structuralist Approach (Initiative for Policy Dialogue)
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I am very happy to be back in Doha, where five years ago the Doha Development Agenda was launched. Before beginning my remarks on Aid for Trade, I would also like to express my concern about the lack of tangible results to date from the Doha Round, and about the trend towards more bilateral agreements, which may leave some developing countries worse off. Let me now turn to Aid for Trade: UNCTAD considers this policy dialogue to be quite timely, since the direction of the Aid for Trade initiative is taking shape as we speak.
It is therefore important to prioritize its activities, so as to maximize the long-term benefits of the initiative for recipient countries. Rather than addressing the specific details of possible AfT country projects, I would like to present our views on how the overall initiative should be oriented and what some of its priority areas should be. One of the basic tenets of the initiative is to focus on supply capacities of beneficiary countries. Accordingly I will address the issue of development of productive capacities and how the AfT initiative can contribute. My presentation has three parts.
First, I will summarize the main findings and policy recommendations of the Least Developed Countries Report Second, I will show how they are relevant in contributing to shape the AfT initiative. Third, I will outline some relevant UNCTAD activities which in our experience have proved important for building productive and trade capacities and are relevant to the Aid for Trade initiative. The central message of the report is that the development and utilization of domestic productive capacities - and the related expansion of productive employment - is key to ensuring the sustainability of both high economic growth and poverty reduction.
They should therefore be placed at the heart of national and international efforts towards these goals. What are productive capacities? Productive capacities are the productive resources, entrepreneurial capabilities and production linkages that together determine the ability of a country to produce goods and services and enable it to grow and develop.
Productive resources include natural resources, human resources, financial capital and physical capital. Production linkages refer to the exchange of goods, services and information between sectors and enterprises.
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How do productive capacities develop? Three processes are involved: These processes drive the expansion of value-added and labour productivity within an economy and thus are vital for achieving sustained economic growth at levels sufficient to raise per capita incomes. What does the successful development of productive capacities lead to? It brings about an expansion of value-added and increases in labour productivity of an economy , with the consequent effect of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Let me recall that the latter are also the ultimate goals of the AfT initiative.
There are various links between productive capacities and poverty reduction, but the creation of productive employment is the primary link. Yet the process of development of productive capacities is not what has been taking place in the LDCs, as their economic growth rates show. Since their political independence, only seven of 40 LDCs for which data are available experienced steady growth: This means that rates of capital accumulation, technological progress and structural change remain insufficient in most of the LDCs. There are three main constraints on the development of productive capacities in the LDCs:.
Growth and policy in developing countries : a structuralist approach
But all is not bleak. The report finds that there are significant underutilized resources and capabilities within the LDCs. Underemployment and low-productivity labour are the clearest indications of this. But there is also untapped traditional knowledge, untapped natural resources, and latent entrepreneurship.
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And there are substantial possibilities for increased domestic financial resource mobilization, based on the increased monetization of the economy, the mobilization of surplus labour and a shift away from household to corporate financing of investments. Moreover, technological underdevelopment implies a major opportunity for fast technological catch-up through the acquisition and effective use of foreign technologies.
The question is then how to foster the development of productive capacities in LDCs and other low-income countries. There is a major opportunity - so long as the policies are right. These policies should seek to achieve increased employment of all existing productive resources, including labour, domestic financial savings and natural resources, and to develop productive capacities by overcoming constraints on capital accumulation, technological progress and structural change. Let me turn now to the second part of my presentation, in which I will draw some policy implications from this analysis of relevance to the AfT initiative.
Developing productive capacities requires a paradigm shift in the current approach to national policies. National development and poverty reduction strategies need to focus on generating productive employment and overcoming constraints on productive capacity development - constraints that in turn hamper job creation.
I would like to look first at international policies, of which the AfT initiative is part. In order to make aid work for economic growth and poverty reduction, it is necessary to rebalance the sectoral composition of aid towards productive sectors, economic infrastructure and developing domestic financial and knowledge systems. The share of aid for in-country development programmes and direct support for programmes run by developing-country governments should also be increased. This refers in particular to the strengthening of infrastructure in those countries.
Let me illustrate why this is critical.
Growth and Policy in Developing Countries
In nominal terms, aid to the LDCs doubled between and These trends should be stopped. The AfT initiative provides an opportunity to do so, at least partially. I would like to recall that trade liberalization is not so much the issue as supply capacity.
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Aims and Scope The welfare state has been under attack for decades, but now more than ever there is a need for strong social protection systems—the best tools we have to combat inequality, support social justice, and even improve economic performance. Stiglitz bring together distinguished contributors to examine the global variations of social programs and make the case for a redesigned twenty-first-century welfare state.
The Welfare State Revisited takes on major debates about social well-being, considering the merits of universal versus targeted policies; responses to market failures; integrating welfare and economic development; and how welfare states around the world have changed since the neoliberal turn. Contributors offer prescriptions for how to respond to the demands generated by demographic changes, the changing role of the family, new features of labor markets, the challenges of aging societies, and technological change. They consider how strengthening or weakening social protection programs affects inequality, suggesting ways to facilitate the spread of effective welfare states throughout the world, especially in developing countries.
Presenting new insights into the functions the welfare state can fulfill and how to design a more efficient and more equitable system, The Welfare State Revisited is essential reading on the most discussed issues in social welfare today. Stiglitz , and The Welfare State Revisited He was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. He served on President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, and then joined the World Bank as chief economist and senior vice president. His most recent book is The Price of Inequality: He formerly held a number of positions with the United Nations and the government of Colombia.
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