Sustainable growth in low-income countries: what policies should governments pursue?

Monday November 18th 2019
Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Achieving sustained growth over long periods of time has been an elusive 'holy grail' of macroeconomics. Over the past 50 years a few developing economies – including Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan – have caught up swiftly with the advanced countries. But many are falling behind. The odds for low- and middle-income countries to reach high-income status within two generations are very low. What policies should governments pursue?

New research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has caused quite a stir. For many years the IMF and other international finance institutions argued that the government’s role should be limited to tackling government failures. Two IMF economists now argue that governments need to be much more ambitious and pursue industrial policies that steer labour and capital into activities the market would not necessarily undertake. In today’s global economy, what are the most effective industrial policies? And in the context of the climate crisis, how green should industrial policies be? Join our expert panel to discuss these questions.


  • Emily Jones, Associate Professor in Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government