Emerging and developing economies have grown much more rapidly than rich countries recently. This has led to hopes that these countries can close the gap with the advanced economies and propel world growth. Historically, rapid convergence on the part of lagging countries has been rare and episodic, and has required a "benevolent" global hegemon which regards "unorthodox" catch-up policies with benign neglect. On top, growth requires structural transformation policies which have been difficult for countries with comparative advantage in natural resources to adopt. Together, these conditions suggest that much of the optimism with regard to continued high growth in the developing world is misplaced.
Dani Rodrik is Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is one of the world's top economists, well known for his original and prescient analyses of globalisation and economic development. His latest book is The Globalization Paradox.
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