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Tales from the development frontier, Volume 1
 
Author:Dinh, Hinh T.; Rawski, Thomas G.; Zafar, Ali; Wang, Lihong; Mavroeidi, Eleonora; Country:China;
Date Stored:2013/09/16Document Date:2013/09/10
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Economic Theory & Research; Poverty Assessment; Health Economics & Finance; Development Economics & Aid Effectiveness; ICT Policy and Strategies
ISBN:978-0-8213-9988-0Language:English
Region:East Asia and PacificReport Number:81049
Volume No:1  

Summary: Tales from the development frontier is an important publication that presents analytical reviews and case studies that show how selected developing countries have developed light manufacturing to create jobs and foster prosperity. China's emergence as a powerhouse in light manufacturing is a major focus of this volume, but other countries in Africa and Asia are also included. Mindful of the adage that there is as much to learn from success as failure, the case studies examined in this book cover both triumphs and disappointments, eliciting from them lessons on the development of light manufacturing and how this sector can be leveraged to accelerate growth in poor countries where the initial conditions may not be quite ideal. The book brings out the role of focused, targeted initiatives that can help break the poverty trap and ignite growth that begins small but can eventually lift broader segments of the economy. Each successful enterprise or industry described in this book began as a family workshop, a microenterprise, or a group of small entrepreneurs meeting a limited demand in a small area. Although these fledgling ventures confronted market, institutional, and regulatory environments loaded with daunting obstacles, they managed to find room for organic growth, supported by focused government policy interventions to ease the binding constraints. At some point, though not necessarily at first, cooperation and even partnership with government policy makers helped to power a gradual transformation that turned small informal firms into modern corporations capable of establishing national and, eventually, international distribution networks. The book argues that this sequence of ground-level entry and gradual organic growth to a larger scale represents a common element in the growth of light manufacturing in the United Kingdom and other early developers, as well as the recent successes such as China. China's emergence as a powerhouse in light manufacturing is a major focus of this volume, but other countries in Africa and Asia are also included. Mindful of the adage that there is as much to learn from success as failure, the case studies examined in this book cover both triumphs and disappointments, eliciting from them lessons on the development of light manufacturing and how this sector can be leveraged to accelerate growth in poor countries where the initial conditions may not be quite ideal.

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