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Sri Lanka and Malaysia - The political economy of poverty, equity, and growth, Volume 1
 
Author:Lal, Deepak; Myint, Hla [editors]; Bruton, Henry J.; Collection Title:A World Bank Comparative Study
Country:Sri Lanka; Malaysia; Date Stored:2002/09/12
Document Date:1992/02/29Document Type:Publication
SubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Governance Indicators; Economic Theory & Research; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Health Economics & FinanceISBN:ISBN 0-19-520824-2
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:(Historic)Economic Policy
Region:East Asia and Pacific; South AsiaReport Number:10436
Sub Sectors:(Historic)Macro/non-tradeVolume No:1

Summary: Sri Lanka and Malaysia have similar land areas and resource endowments. Both countries were once colonies, and in both a large plantation and mining export sector coexists with a peasant rice economy. The expansion of the plantation and mining sector in past centuries attracted large numbers of immigrant Indian and Chinese workers and created plural societies composed of different ethnic groups with different cultures and traditions. Despite this common background, these two countries have had very different experiences with economic development since their independence. Malaysia achieved unusually high growth rates but had trouble with equity and employment and did not establish an indigenous growth process. Sri Lanka did well on equity by trying to maintain its culture and Buddhist heritage, but its policies created problems with productivity and balance of payments and finally led to a virtual collapse of the economy by early 1970. The author and his associates point to the constraints within which government policies in both countries were made, and they seek to evaluate the origins and legitimacy of these constraints. Their much-needed, comparative study is readable, thorough, and sometimes provocative.

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