Press Release Globalization and Trade Latin America and the Caribbean World

Economists Document Long-Term Growth Fall-Off for Developing Countries

September 21, 2005

Contact: Karen Conner, (202) 293-5380 x117Mail_Outline

September 21, 2005

Progress in Health Outcomes, Education Also Reduced

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2005

Contact: Lynn Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115,
             Mark Weisbrot, 202-746-7264

Washington, DC: The last 25 years have seen sharply reduced economic growth and reduced progress in health and education outcomes for low- and middle-income countries in comparison with previous decades, as documented in a new paper by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“The official data show a very different picture than most policymakers and the public have in mind,” said economist Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of CEPR and co-author of the report. “The number one question for the IMF and World Bank at their fall meetings this weekend should be: What has gone wrong over the last 25 years in the vast majority of developing countries?

The report, “The Scorecard on Development: 25 Years of Diminished Progress” compares the last 25 years (1980-2005) with the prior two decades (1960-1980) on:

  • Growth (GDP per capita)
  • Health outcomes (life expectancy, mortality rates for adults, children and infants)
  • Education (public spending on education, school enrollment rates, literacy)

The paper finds a sharp slowdown in growth of GDP per capita and reduced progress for the vast majority of countries on almost all of the social indicators. The paper also briefly addresses the possible reasons for this economic failure, as well as the exceptional successes of China and India over the last 25 years.

To read the report, click here.

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