Beyond Shifting Wealth

Perspectives on Development Risks and Opportunities from the Global South

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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.



Risks and opportunities for inclusive societies in developing and emerging countries

OECD Development Centre

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.


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