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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.; Country:Sri Lanka; Malaysia;
Date Stored:2002/09/12Document Date:1992/02/29
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Governance Indicators; Economic Theory & Research; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Health Economics & Finance
ISBN:ISBN 0-19-520824-2Language:English
Major Sector:(Historic)Economic PolicyRegion:East Asia and Pacific; South Asia
Report Number:10436Sub Sectors:(Historic)Macro/non-trade
Collection Title:A World Bank Comparative StudyVolume 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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