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Perspectives on Global Development 2014

Boosting Productivity to Meet the Middle-Income Challenge

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Developing economies continue to grow faster than more advanced countries. Non-OECD countries’ share in world GDP surpassed that of OECD countries in 2010. Since its first edition in 2010, the annual Perspectives on Global Development has investigated the trends in “shifting wealth”, the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy. “Shifting wealth” has received a boost through the rise of China, which has also led to positive spillover effects on developing economies that supply China’s demand for resource-based products and intermediates. However, even at their higher rates of growth since 2000, the per capita incomes in developing countries – including many middle-income countries – will not reach the levels of developed countries by 2050. Boosting productivity growth in middle-income countries could stem this trend and is the focus of this report. At the same time, this growth needs to be inclusive so a real convergence in living standards can take place.

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Foreword and Acknowledgements

OECD Development Centre

Developing economies continue to grow faster than more advanced countries. In 2010, non-OECD countries’ share in world GDP surpassed that of OECD countries. Since its initiation in 2010, the series of publications Perspectives on Global Development has investigated the trends in the shifting wealth process, following the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy. Shifting wealth has received a particular boost through the rise of People’s Republic of China, which has also led to positive spillover effects on other developing economies that could supply China’s emerging demand for resource-based products and intermediates. However, assuming that trend growth remains the same in the coming decades, the recently accelerated convergence process of developing with developed country incomes is not sufficient for many countries (including many middle-income countries) to reach OECD average incomes by 2050.

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