Forging a Path to Sustainable Development
Edited by Philip Lawn
Chapter 7: Assessing the economic transition process across the Asia-Pacific region: comparisons, trends, and policy implications
Strategies to achieve GDP growth have been implemented in the developing world as the primary tool to lift income levels and to improve the lives of the poor (see, for example, ADB, 1999, 2000; IMF and WB, 2004, 2005). Whilst the effectiveness of GDP growth in lifting people out of poverty in developing countries has been contested (Ravallion and Chen, 1997; Ng and Ng, 2001; Dollar and Kraay, 2002; Inder, 2004; Amann et al., 2006), Kingsbury et al. (2008) note that, for much of the past sixty years, GDP growth has been considered analogous to development. Indeed, the centrality of GDP growth to the aid-effectiveness literature (McGillivray et al., 2006) is further testament to the importance that GDP growth has within the current development debate. Given the high correlation between per capita GDP and the majority of non-economic development indicators, this importance is not unexpected (Clarke and McGillivray, 2007). Certainly, strategies to achieve GDP growth have been very successful in achieving their primary goal, especially in the Asia Pacific region, where GDP growth over the past two decades has been higher than in any other region in the world (World Bank, 2006).
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