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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Battle for Development: Economic Growth versus Institutions, Fighting for Long-term Sustainable Outcomes


The globalization process, accelerated through technology proliferation, has “brought about profound changes in the international context [and] could have far-reaching implications for development” according to Deepak Nayyar.  He argues a myth exists advocating the spread of globalization and global economic wealth convergence; however, globalization is uneven and a sharp divide between rich and poor countries persists. For example, during the 1980s and 1990s poverty increased in most Latin American, Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan African countries. However, not all developing nations have stagnated, some have experienced high sustained economic growth rates. Both China and Botswana have been hailed as such examples in the developing world while some of their neighbors, notably Mongolia and Zimbabwe, have had more trouble. This begs the question, why have some developing countries achieved development while others have not? To begin to address this question, one must look at various development models and case studies. Before trying to achieve rapid economic growth, it is critical that nations have strong institutions embedded within state infrastructure to ensure long-term sustainable development.

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