The development bargain: Why elites gamble on growth

Past Event State, Tax and Inclusive Growth

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In the last 30 years, the developing world has undergone tremendous changes. Overall, poverty has fallen, people live longer and healthier lives, and economies have been transformed. Why have some countries prospered, while others have failed?

Stefan Dercon argues that the answer lies in a key ‘development bargain’, whereby a country’s elites shift from protecting their own positions to gambling on a growth-based future. Despite the imperfections of such bargains, China is among the most striking recent success stories, along with Indonesia and more unlikely places, such as Bangladesh, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

This event discusses lessons learned from Ghana to understand why and how elites decide to engage with economic growth.

This event is part of a programme to celebrate the legacy and work of Professor Sir Arthur Lewis.