Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rethinking Growth

The March, 2006, edition of Finance and Development (F&D) is devoted to a reexamination of economic growth theory. Well known economists address, most associated closely with the World Bank Group, address the topic in a fairly accessable manner. F&D is a publication of the International Monitary Fund. Articles include: "Rethinking Growth" by Roberto Zagha, Gobind Nankani, and Indermit Gill; "Getting the Diagnosis Right" by Ricardo Hausmann, Dani Rodrik, and Andrés Velasco; "Getting Out of the Rut" by Danny Leipziger and Roberto Zagha; "The Quest Continues" by Lant Pritchett; "Breaking Down Barriers to Growth" by Martin Neil Baily and Diana Farrell; "Levers for Growth" by Simon Johnson, Jonathan D. Ostry, and Arvind Subramanian; and "Growing Pains" by Catherine Pattillo, Sanjeev Gupta, and Kevin Carey.

The issue is linked to the publication of a major World Bank study, "Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform". The World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network published this 2005 study on development lessons of the 1990s. The report reviews the growth impact of the main policy and institutional reforms introduced in the 1990s, presents a broad perspective on the events, country experiences, academic research and controversies of the decade, and reflects on how they alter our thinking about economic growth. It complements a series of lectures by leading development practitioners such as Larry Summers, President of Harvard University and Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President and Former Minister of Finance of Brazil, discussed their experience as policy makers at the forefront of policy implementation in the 1990s.

In September 2004, 16 well-known economists — Olivier Blanchard, Guillermo Calvo, Daniel Cohen, Stanley Fischer, Jeffrey Frankel, Jordi Galí, Ricardo Hausmann, Paul Krugman, Deepak Nayyar, José-Antonio Ocampo, Dani Rodrik, Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz, Andrés Velasco, Jaime Ventura, and John Williamson — gathered in Barcelona, Spain and as a result of their meetings and deliberations issued a document containing a new consensus on growth and development. The "Barcelona Consensus" echoes many of the findings of the World Bank's work, which, in turn, reflects recent academic research by several of the signatories.

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