What the Developing World Can Teach Us about Economic Growth

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In September 2011, as Europe struggled to find solutions to its ongoing debt crisis, Robert Zoellick, then president of the World Bank, told the BBC:"I don’t think China will just come in as a white knight to try to provide money just to bail out Europeans. There would have to be some economic incentive."

Thirty years ago, if one of the world’s preeminent economists presented the idea of China bailing out Europe he would have become a laughingstock. 

With historical context, Zoellick's remarks demonstrate just how much China's has evolved over the past few decades. The China of 2013 is a world apart from the People’s Republic of Mao Zedong, and while China has emerged as an economic powerhouse over the past few decades, the United States and Europe are left wringing their hands over the debt crisis and the great recession.

In his new book, "Turnaround: Third World Lessons for First World Growth," Peter Henry, dean of NYU's Stern School of Business, examines emerging economies in countries like China, India and Brazil, and what the West can learn from them.


Peter Henry

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

dlmc from Brooklyn

South Korea spends about 6% of GDP on healthcare compared to the US which spends over 15% of GDP. They have a small National Pension Service that covers less than 30% of Seniors and was only started in the late 80's. These legacy costs and accumulated layers of regulation stagnate growth. I guess that is what these countries are learning. Do not become a welfare state.

Mar. 13 2013 08:45 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The reference to Aesops fable of "The Ant And The Grasshopper" is an interesting one. The version that most people are familiar with and what Peter Henry is referring to is the Ant works through the summer to store up food for the winter, while the grasshopper enjoys the sunshine and then starves to death in the winter.
In one variation of the story, it tells of a dung beetle, whose dung gets washed away during the winter storms. No dung to eat for beetle during the winter.
In another variation, the ant was once a greedy farmer who despite the success of his own farm was stealing from his neighbor. He is turned into an ant.
I have now completely complicated Peter Henry's point but I know that I have to rethink all my Aesop's Fables today.

Mar. 13 2013 01:12 PM

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