Thailand has progressed economically from a low to a middle-income country in a few decades. But, as the World Bank put it, Thailand faces ‘a real challenge of sustaining its growth and transitioning into a higher income country’. As Doner says: Thailand has achieved stunning GDP growth rates and has diversified out of a small number of agricultural products to become a global export leader in a wide range of agricultural and industrial goods . . . yet this impressive performance has been due largely to the efficient accumulation and mobilization of factor inputs rather than improvements in productivity. Similarly, Warr shows that productivity increases over a recent 20-year period were considerably higher in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors than in the more highly regulated (including entry restrictions that limit competition) service industries.
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