Developing Countries in the World Economy: The Future in the Past?
Deepak Nayyar is Professor of Economics at
WIDER Annual Lecture 12, which was delivered in
UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) -
Available online as PDF file [53p.] at:
“…..The object of this study is to analyse the evolution of developing countries in the world economy situated in its wider historical context, from the onset of the second millennium, but with a focus on the second half of the twentieth century.
In doing so, it poses, and endeavours to answer, some unexplored questions:
Does the distinction between developing countries and industrialized countries go back a long time? If not, when did the countries and continents, now described as the developing world, end their long period of domination to begin their decline and fall?
How far does the economic recovery of developing countries in the world economy, since 1950, represent a catch-up in terms of industrialization and development?
What is the extent of the catch-up in comparison with the past? And how is it distributed across countries and among people in the developing world?
Is there something to learn from the past about the future?
The structure of the discussion is as follows:
First, I shall examine the changes in the economic importance of Africa, Asia and Latin America (now described as the developing world), as compared with Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America and Japan (now described as the industrialized world), in a long-term historical perspective.
Second, I shall examine the changes in the significance of developing countries in the world economy, in terms of population and income, during the second half of the twentieth century.
Third, I shall consider the engagement of developing countries with the world economy, since 1950, with a focus on international trade, international investment and international migration, drawing some comparisons with the past.
Fourth, I shall outline the contours of their catch-up in industrialization, discernible in the past three decades, to discuss the underlying factors.
Fifth, I shall show that this process is characterized by unequal participation and uneven development, as much of the catch-up in total output, international trade and industrial production is attributable to about a dozen countries.
Sixth, I shall suggest that the growth performance of developing countries is critical, whether we seek to explain the past, understand the present or extrapolate the future.
Seventh, I shall argue that the observed growth has often not been transformed into meaningful development because there is an exclusion of countries and of people, which is reflected in a widening gap not only between developing countries and industrialized countries but also between countries in the developing world. Eighth, I shall explore the future prospects of developing countries, in terms of determinants and constraints, situated in the wider context of the world economy, to highlight what needs to be done to bring about a real transformation. At the end, some conclusions that emerge…..”
2 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
2.1 1000 to 1700
2.2 1820 to 1950
3 SIGNIFICANCE OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SINCE 1950
4 ENGAGEMENT WITH THE WORLD ECONOMY
4.1 International trade
4.2 International investment
4.3 International migration
5 CATCH-UP IN INDUSTRIALIZATION
5.1 Industrial production
5.2 Manufactured exports
6 UNEQUAL PARTICIPATION AND UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT
7 GROWTH PERFORMANCES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
8 TRANSFORMING GROWTH INTO DEVELOPMENT
8.1 International inequality
8.2 Widening gap between countries
8.3 Exclusion of countries
8.4 Exclusion of people
9 FUTURE PROSPECTS: DETERMINANTS AND CONSTRAINTS
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