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Beating the OddsJump-Starting Developing Countries$
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Justin Yifu Lin and Célestin Monga

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691192338

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691192338.001.0001

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Introduction: The Art of Engineering Prosperity in Unlikely Places

Introduction: The Art of Engineering Prosperity in Unlikely Places

(p.1) Introduction: The Art of Engineering Prosperity in Unlikely Places
(p.iii) Beating the Odds

Justin Yifu Lin

Célestin Monga

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides a methodological approach that draws lessons and insights from economic history and theory and uses empirics from economic analysis and policy practice. It starts with an observation of the increasingly globalized world economy in which technological development allows the use of factors of production in locations that maximize returns and utility, and countries gain mutually by trading with each other if their strategies focus on revealed and latent comparative advantage. By following carefully selected lead countries, latecomers can emulate the leader–follower, flying-geese pattern that has well served economies since the eighteenth century. The prospects for sustained and inclusive growth are even greater for low-income economies that enjoy the benefits of backwardness. The chapter advocates implementing viable strategies to capture new opportunities for industrialization, which can enable low-income economies to set forth on a dynamic path of structural change and lead to poverty reduction and prosperity.

Keywords:   empirics, economic analysis, world economy, flying-geese pattern, leader-follower, low-income, backwardness, poverty reduction

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