The Quest for Prosperity by Justin Yifu Lin
How Developing Economies Can Take Off

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How can developing countries grow their economies? Most answers to this question center on what the rich world should or shouldn't do for the poor world. In The Quest for Prosperity, Justin Yifu Lin--the first non-Westerner to be chief economist of the World Bank--focuses on what developing nations can do to help themselves.

Since the end of the Second World War, prescriptions for economic growth have come and gone. Often motivated more by ideology than practicality, these blueprints have had mixed success on the ground. Drawing lessons from history, economic analysis, and practice, Lin examines how the countries that have succeeded in developing their own economies have actually done it. He shows that economic development is a process of continuous technological innovation, industrial upgrading, and structural change driven by how countries harness their land, labor, capital, and infrastructure. Countries need to identify and facilitate the development of those industries where they have a comparative advantage--where they can produce products most effectively--and use them as a basis for development. At the same time, states need to recognize the power of markets, limiting the role of government to allow firms to flourish and lead the process of technological innovation and industrial upgrading. By following this "new structural economics" framework, Lin shows how even the poorest nations can grow at eight percent or more continuously for several decades, significantly reduce poverty, and become middle- or even high-income countries in the span of one or two generations.

Interwoven with insights, observations, and stories from Lin's travels as chief economist of the World Bank and his reflections on China's rise, this book provides a road map and hope for those countries engaged in their own quest for prosperity.


About Justin Yifu Lin

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Justin Yifu Lin is founding director and professor of the China Centre for Economic Research at Peking University. From 2008 to 2012, he served as chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank. His many books include "Demystifying the Chinese Economy" and "Economic Development and Transition". He is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and a fellow of the World Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.
Published September 9, 2012 by Princeton University Press. 344 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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the dominant development paradigm of the time.” Lin concludes that the Soviet Stalinist model of modernization through industrialization provided a poor precedent for subsequent leaders whose zest for large capital-intensive projects was inappropriate, especially since developing nations rarely...

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Quest for Prosperity: How...

City Book Review

Working for the World Bank enabled this excellent economist to work on development issues in many different ways and help to reduce poverty.

Dec 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Quest for Prosperity: How...

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