Apr 2 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
with, Ivailo Izvorski, The World Bank
Economic development discussions in Eurasia often become debates about diversification. For aregion that is resource-rich, this is to be expected. Eurasian economies have in many ways become less diversified during the last two decades. At the same time, people are much better off today thanthey were in the 1990s: poverty has been cut in half, incomes have increased fivefold; and educationand health have improved. Eurasia’s economies have also become more integrated with the globaleconomy and more productive at home. And the region has also become better at efficientlyconverting natural wealth into productive capital: since the mid-2000s it has built more in assets thanthe mineral wealth it has used up. But most countries in Eurasia have yet to learn the main lessonfrom the experience of resource rich countries in other parts of the world. In brief, what distinguishessuccess from failure are the institutions used to manage economic volatility, ensure high qualityeducation, and provide a competition regime that levels the playing field for enterprise. Developmentsuccess in resource-rich economies comes from more diversified asset portfolios–a better balancebetween natural resources, built capital, and economic institutions. “DiversifiedDevelopment” elaborates on these lessons and provides practical recommendations for twelve countries in the former Soviet Union.
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