Beyond Shifting Wealth

Beyond Shifting Wealth

Perspectives on Development Risks and Opportunities from the Global South You do not have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

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28 Mar 2017
9789264273153 (PDF) ;9789264273146(print)

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Emerging and developing countries have grown faster than advanced countries since the 2000s. This shifting weight of global economic activity from 'the West' to 'East and South' is referred to as 'shifting wealth'. But in recent years, a number of factors, such as lower commodity prices, seem  to have brought this movement to a pause. Is the period of rapid growth in the emerging world over? This anthology takes stock of the situation and goes beyond the 'shifting wealth' narrative. It offers a forward-looking perspective on global risks and development opportunities over the next 15 years. It collects the perspectives of thought leaders from developing and emerging economies, offering their views and solutions on the most pressing global development challenges.

The first chapter provides the OECD Development Centre's analysis of major development trends. These trends include: slowing growth in China, the end of the commodity super cycle, increasing difficulty accessing global financial markets, demographic transitions, faltering job creation, rapid urbanisation, the negative effects of climate change and conflict and security. These challenges also provide development opportunities. Twelve thought leaders and development practitioners from the global South explore these opportunities in four thematic chapters. They deal with issues such as: structural transformation in a new macro environment; inclusive societies; energy and the environment; and new forms of development co-operation.

The anthology provides a starting point for dialogue and exchange on these risks and challenges as well as potential solutions to them.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    In an integrated global economy, a number of global risks and challenges – from climate change to financial crises to increasing inequality – require coordinated international responses. While risks can be global in that they may affect many countries across multiple continents, the impact in reality may be felt more or less severely in specific places. This has implications on the likelihood, form and effectiveness of international co-operation. For effective international co-operation and action, it is therefore vital to understand the risks and challenges facing us as well as how they are perceived by different countries and actors within the global system.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Since the 2000s, economic growth in developing countries generally has been robust, contributing to the phenomenon of shifting wealth – the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy – and improved livelihoods. Despite this shift in the global economic centre of gravity, several middle-income countries are not growing fast enough to converge with advanced countries by 2050. Slowing convergence is one factor contributing to a gloomier development prognosis for the next 15 years. Weakening global demand, partly caused by slowing growth in the People’s Republic of China (hereafter, China), is hampering the growth prospects of many developing countries. Rising interest rates could fuel volatility in emerging economies’ currency, bond and stock markets, and as rates rise, debt-service costs increase. Access to international finance may become increasingly difficult for many developing countries. These challenges will be exacerbated by rapid demographic transitions, urbanisation, premature deindustrialisation, digitalisation and automation, and the rising incidence of climate-related shocks.

  • Overview

    This overview chapter provides a scan of the major risks and challenges that developing and emerging economies may face looking forward. It first gives an overview of the development context over the past 15 years. The chapter then examines major development trends over the coming 15 years, including: the end of the commodity super cycle, access to financial markets, demographic transitions, job creation, urbanisation, climate change and conflict and security. The chapter finishes with a roadmap to the rest of the anthology that summarises the key messages from the anthology’s contributors.

  • Structural transformation in a changing development context

    Chapter 2 deals with the topic of structural transformation in a new macro environment. The previous 15 years were favourable toward developing and emerging economies, partly because of strong growth in China and a commodity price boom. It is uncertain whether these conditions will prevail over the next 15 years and development strategies based on agriculture and extractive industries may no longer be sustainable. Alan Hirsch writes about the growth takeoff in Africa during the 1990s and 2000s and that although there are many obstacles to African development, there are reasons to be hopeful. Donald Mmari draws on the experience of Tanzania to offer policy advice on diversification for sub-Saharan Africa. Neuma Grobbelaar outlines five “game changers” that have the potential to accelerate African development if harnessed correctly. Vugar Bayramov and Ahmad Alili put forward a vision for a prosperous Azerbaijan not dependent on oil and gas reserves.

  • Risks and opportunities for inclusive societies in developing and emerging countries

    Chapter 3 is concerned with inclusive societies in developing and emerging economies. Rapid demographic transitions, urbanisation, jobless growth and premature deindustrialisation are placing huge pressure on the development of cohesive societies. Citizens of developing countries, and particularly young people, are growing increasingly disaffected as inequality rises, and un- and underemployment grow. René N’Guettia Kouassi’s piece focuses on the problem of growing inequality across the world. Gilbert Houngbo discusses the rise of young people in informal employment globally and potential policy solutions to this problem. Samir Saran and Vivan Sharan also tackle informality but from the perspective of India; they argue that technology could play a role in ameliorating it. Finally, Hussein Al-Majali analyses the lack of opportunities for youth in the MENA region and how political leaders there need to build a new conception of “active citizenship.

  • The low-carbon transition challenge in ASEAN countries and the BRICS

    Chapter 4 analyses some of the crucial energy and environmental risks and challenges developing and emerging countries face over the coming 15 years. Developing and emerging countries both suffer the disproportional burden of the negative effects of climate change and are experiencing rapid increases in energy demands as their populations grow and urbanise. Sanjayan Velautham discusses the ASEAN community’s “energy trilemma”: the trade-off between energy security, environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness. Tian Huifang writes about the obstacles facing the BRICS as they attempt to transition to low-carbon economies and how they can spur global co-operation on mitigating climate change.

  • New forms of development co-operation

    Chapter 5 is concerned with new and improved forms of development co-operation at a time when the concept of development itself is in transition. The universal SDGs agenda make it apparent that aid is no longer sufficient to achieve shared development goals; this point is made more pertinent as countries graduate from ODA eligibility – development goes beyond income thresholds. Debapriya Bhattacharya and Sarah Sabin Khan argue that the LDCs represent a key “battleground” for the implementation of the SDGs agenda and outline three policy areas on which the international community could focus to prevent them from being left behind. Andrea Vignolo and Karen Van Rompaey write about the need for new forms of development co-operation as countries graduate from ODA eligibility.

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