Welcome to Growth Dialogue

Welcome to the Growth Dialogue, a network driven by a passion to see economic growth extended to as many places on the planet as possible. Without growth, it is hard to imagine sustainable development and improvements in people’s lives. The Growth Dialogue seeks to connect high level policymakers and thought leaders with those whose decisions matter.
Shahid Yusuf, September 19, 2014


Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public's expectations and prepare the ground fro structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer term performance.

Image source: World Bank Photo Collection

Shahid Yusuf, January 07, 2014

Archaeological evidence suggests that cities as recognizable entities arose in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers around 3,200 BCE—some 10,000 years after the domestication of rye (and other grains later), and 5,000 years after the emergence of village communities that prioritized intensive agriculture over hunting and gathering. Shortly thereafter, or perhaps simultaneously, cities appeare in China and in Mesoamerica. The spread of intensive agriculture enabled cities to multiply and flourish. Ideas and innovations that germinated in cities served as the nuclei of civilization and, more recently, in the making of modern societies. Cities may have been the drivers of change in earlier times. However, as recently as 1800, only 3 percent of the world’s population was urban. A century later, the urban share was still only 14 percent. Not until 2012 did urban dwellers—more than 3.6 billion in total— outnumber their rural counterparts (52 percent). The trend line points toward 6.3 billion urban inhabitants out of a projected total world population of 9.3 billion in 2050.

Paris, France
Wed, 03/20/2013 - 00:00 - Thu, 03/21/2013 - 00:00

The objective of this conference, jointly organized by OECD, The Growth Dialogue, and the World Bank is to identify key policy principles by bringing together leading experts and policy makers from advanced, emerging and developing economies to discuss the critical challenges that need to be addressed for innovation to support inclusive growth. These questions are as follows:

1. What are the impacts of innovation and innovation policy on industrial, social and territorial inclusiveness?

2. How can inclusive innovation initiatives be expanded to improve welfare and facilitate the democratisation of innovation?

3. What are key implications for policy? What can be done to support the successful implementation of novel approaches to policy to effectively support inclusive growth?

Image source: OECD.org

Washington, D.C.
Fri, 01/10/2014

Urban economics is undergoing a renaissance with urban issues moving to the forefront of development thinking as it is becoming apparent that growth, its inclusiveness and its greening, and the quality of life enjoyed by the vast majority will depend upon how cities evolve, how they are governed and how they perform. We see cities as economic, social and cultural entities in a densely interlaced global environment. New research in economics and related disciplines is steadily enlarging our understanding of urban dynamics and helping to crystallize policies to make cities more livable and increase the opportunities to positively impact economic growth. As more people take up residence in cities in the next two decades and policymakers in developing countries attempt to cope with a host of new challenges, there is an urgent need to enrich the quality and depth of policy making. Nowhere is this more urgent than in emerging and developing economies where urbanization rates are most pronounced.

VOX March 3, 2014

Danny Leipziger and Shahid Yusuf are discussing urbanisation trends on VOX. Urbanisation and GDP per capita are positively correlated across countries. However, when the sample is restricted to developing countries, urbanisation and growth are more loosely related – particularly in Africa. This column argues that the low share of manufacturing in developing-country cities may help to explain this discrepancy. Strengthening urban finances, embracing technology, improving skills, and stimulating the formal sector will help cities to promote growth. Since decisions affecting urban development can have lasting impact, longer-term planning deserves greater attention than it is currently receiving. Read more

The Jakarta Post January 22, 2014

Dr. Danny Leipziger, Managing Director of the Growth Dialogue, is featured in The Jakarta Post - based on the lecture he gave in Indonesia earlier in the month. Read full story

Shared Views

Dani Rodrik
Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study

"Even though manufactures have fallen as a share of GDP in many countries, there should be an active search for "escalator industries" that  can facilitate convergence of national growth rates and help propel growth in emerging market economies."

Read More >
Philippe Aghion
Professor of Economics, Harvard University

"Productivity is a major driver of growth. As countries shift from imitation to innovation, however, they need to shift their focus to maintain productivity performance. Investing in higher education, allowing new firm entry, fostering access to credit, and using ICT effectively are among the keys to generating further growth."

Read More >
Dr. Dennis Frenchman
Leventhal Professor of Urban Design and Planning , Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"The transformation of cities back into places of production, as well as consumption, will take time. Technology is advancing faster than our ability to restructure environments and organization."

Read More >
Martin Kenney
Pofessor of Human and Community Development , University of California, Davis

Cities repeatedly have been shaped and reshaped by actors deploying new technologies. The pervasive and ubiquitous nature of today's IT-centric world has so many facets that have implications for urbanization.

Read More >
Janice Perlman
President, Mega-Cities Project

"The world’s cities are growing by close to 200,000 people a day. To house this influx we need 96,150 homes per day. Most of these will be self-built. Without self-building, there would be masses living on the streets."

Read More >