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Stages of Development, Economic Policies and a New World Economic Order

Polterovich, Victor and Popov, Vladimir (2006): Stages of Development, Economic Policies and a New World Economic Order.


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This paper summarizes theoretical arguments, empirical evidence, and econometric findings to support the statement that rational economic policies depend qualitatively on stages of development that are defined by productivity and institutional indicators of a country. We consider the impact of industrial policies, speed of foreign exchange reserves accumulation, technology transfers and immigration policies, as well as FDI and liberalization of capital flows, on rate of economic growth. It is argued that the impact may be positive or negative; in many cases a threshold combination of GDP per capita and institutional quality indicators may be found to separate two different outcomes. A precondition of economic success is the timely switching of economic policies to avoid both types of mistakes: excessive inertia or premature use of instruments that are effective for more advance countries only.

The stage of development theory implies that international financial institutions (including IMF, WB, and EBRD) should work out a list of differentiated prescriptions that may be efficiently followed by countries with different levels of institutional and technological development, and so the system of assistance to developing countries could be improved. This and some other elements of "a New World Economic Order" are discussed in the paper.

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