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The World Region

The Past and Future of Export-led Growth

Ihssane Loudiyi's picture

by Shahid Yusuf

The history of development since 1950 is remarkable overall but it offers only a few outstanding success stories. These are based on the experience of a small handful of European and East Asian economies among which Germany, Finland, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan (China) and Singapore are the notable ‘high achievers’. Each sustained two or more decades of sustained rapid growth between 1955 and 1997. From among them, only China has continued forging ahead at near double digit rates since 2000. All the others have slowed.

An analysis of this unique body of experience yields five stylized facts which together underpin a particular model of development. The questions being asked insistently following the financial crisis of 2008-09, are: whether the export-led growth model can continue to shape the strategies pursued by the elite group of high achievers and also of late starters aspiring to emulate the performance of the East Asian economies? Or, whether changing global circumstances in the early 21st Century have rendered the model obsolete for most if not all economies and demand a fresh approach differentiated according to specific country circumstances?

Transmission of Crisis from Home Mortgages to US Credit Freeze

Raj Nallari's picture

By early-2007, it became clear as housing prices began to decline, losses on sub-primate mortgages that originated in 2003-2006 were rising more rapidly than the assumptions used and risk-model predictions. The deterioration in borrowing quality and other shortcomings mentioned above gave little comfort to investors.

The 'Perfect Storm'

Raj Nallari's picture

The collapse of the bubble in early-2001 and the 9/11 attacks was followed by an easing of monetary policy in the US and Euro Area as a response to avert an economic slow-down. Around the same time, coming out of the Asian crisis, emerging BRICs and Gulf countries started building up huge foreign exchange reserves, primarily denominated in US dollars and safest financial securities, such as US Treasury bills.

Development Outreach: Growing Out of Crisis

Ihssane Loudiyi's picture

A global financial and economic convulsion of the magnitude we have just experienced should offer valuable lessons. The December 2009 of Development Outreach, “Growing Out of Crisis,” offers a multifaceted picture that sheds new light on the impact of the crisis from different perspectives and in different parts of the world, and discusses changes at national and international levels that would better protect us from the next crisis.

Microfoundations of Economic Growth

Raj Nallari's picture

Most growth analysis has been primarily a macroeconomic subject with particular emphasis on contribution of capital, education adjusted labor, and total factor productivity to output growth (see Collins and Bosworth 1996, Hu and Khan, 1997, Sarel 1997, Sala-i-Martin 2000, Hall and Jones, 1999, Easterly and Levine 2001). Importance of macroeconomic policies as represented by budget deficits, exchange rate premia, inflation, trade openness and inflow of foreign Investment etc are tagged on in the growth analysis at a macroeconomic level. A few studies have invoked ethnic differences and other exogenous factors to understand cross country differences in total productivity growth and per capita incomes. 

In trying to understand the rapid output growth of East Asian ‘miracle’ countries, Krugman (1994), Young (1995), and others were engaged in an interesting debate on whether capital accumulation or total factor productivity growth best explained the high and sustained output growth of these countries. Their conclusion that capital accumulation was most important was based on macroeconomic data analysis in a factors of production approach to sources of growth. Others have found that the growth of output is strongly correlated with productivity growth in developed and developing economies as reported by Kehoe and Prescott (2002) and Solimano and Soto (2004), and this co-movement appears to be stronger the longer is the time period considered.