Since 2010, the OECD Development Centre’s Perspectives on Global Development (PGD) series has investigated the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy, a phenomenon referred to as “shifting wealth”. In 2008, the share of non-OECD countries in world gross domestic product surpassed that of OECD member countries. This effectively helped put many developing countries on a converging economic path with the richer countries of the world. On account of such a global transformation, development concerns of all sorts have been deeply affected. Each subsequent edition of the PGD has examined the effect of this trend on development, focusing on different policy concerns, from social cohesion (2012) and industrial policy (2013) to productivity and the middle-income trap (2014) and, most recently, international migration (2017).

The 2019 edition focuses on development strategies. The People’s Republic of China continues to re-invent itself and its relation with the rest of the world. Several countries have graduated from aid, while many others continue to be overburdened with poverty. Policy concerns and development blueprints are in sharp need of a facelift. Lessons have been learned from the past, yet several paradigms have fallen short of their goal of development and poverty reduction – in part because today’s challenges are different to those of yesterday. At the same time, tools, partners and policy responses are multiplying and wider than ever.

The report builds on the growing body of research by the Development Centre that looks at the changing facets of development and the challenges, new and old, developing countries must face in today’s world. In so doing, it seeks to trigger a larger debate on the unique paths taken by developing countries, as well as the implications for domestic policy and international aid donors. To that end, the report has four main strands:

  • analysing the current status of shifting wealth

  • comparing the development trajectories of early industrialising countries with the emerging economies of today

  • critically decomposing the paradigms developed by leading international thinkers and followed by practitioners and policy makers since the end of the Second World War

  • investigating the challenges that developing countries will need to face and that will impact how they assemble their development strategies.

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