Despite significant gains in promoting economic growth and living conditions (or "human progress") globally over the last twenty-five years, much of the developing world remains plagued by poverty and its attendant problems, including high rates of child mortality, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and war. In Growth and Empowerment, Nicholas Stern, Jean-Jacques Dethier, and F. Halsey Rogers propose a new strategy for development. Drawing on many years of work in development economics—in academia, in the field, and at international institutions such as the World Bank—the authors base their strategy on two interrelated approaches: building a climate that encourages investment and growth and at the same time empowering poor people to participate in that growth. This plan differs from other models for development, including the dogmatic approach of market fundamentalism popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Stern, Dethier, and Rogers see economic development as a dynamic process of continuous change in which entrepreneurship, innovation, flexibility, and mobility are crucial components and the idea of empowerment, as both a goal and a driver of development, is central. The book points to the unique opportunity today—after 50 years of successes and failures, and with a growing body of analytical work to draw on—to pursue new development strategies in both research and action.
About the Authors
Lord Stern is I. G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government at the London School of Economics, President of the British Academy, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, and former Chief Economist at the World Bank. He was the lead author of the influential Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, the findings of which he adapted in his book for general readers, The Global Deal: Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity (also known as A Blueprint for a Safer Planet).
F. Halsey Rogers is Senior Economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.
Jean-Jacques Dethier is Lead Economist in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.
"One searches in vain for solid materials equalling the authority of older works on development by luminaries such as economist Albert Hirschman and political scientist Robert Packenham... Help has arrived. The recent book by Stern et al. largely fills this void.... this is the first comprehensive reference book, written clearly for generalists and specialists alike.... the book should appeal to development analysts and workers of all professional and ideological stripes. People in this field should not leave home without it."—Public Administration and Development
"Nick Stern and his colleagues blend theory, direct observation, statistical evidence, and experience into a coherent approach to economic development that is both analytical and humane. There is nothing mechanical or imposed in their emphasis on creating a favorable climate for investment in local farms and enterprises, while engaging the active participation of those with the biggest stake in development—the local population. The result is a clear, factual, and thoughtful book."
—Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor of Economics, Emeritus, MIT, and Nobel Laureate in Economics (1987)
"Nick Stern is a master of development theory and practice. Together with Jean-Jacques Dethier and F. Halsey Rogers, he gives us in this volume the fruits of his experience and wisdom, proposing a growth strategy based on creating the right climate for investment and on empowering people. And then he tells us who needs to do what and when—mostly very soon—to implement the strategy and thereby accelerate development"
—Stanley Fischer, Vice Chairman, Citigroup
"Nick Stern's work on development is distinguished not just by its exceedingly high standards but also by the admirable empathy it exhibits toward its subjects. This book is indispensable: Stern and his colleagues lay out a policy agenda for development that is comprehensive yet grounded in detailed analysis."
—Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University
"Nick Stern and his coauthors tackle the fundamental problem of the twenty-first century: how to extend the benefits of modern technology and globalization to the developing world in a fair, balanced, and sustainable way. A remarkable synthesis of contemporary thinking on development and poverty reduction."
—Kenneth S. Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Department of Economics, Harvard University
"This book summarizes and extends a major revision of thinking on development. It affirms that although building a strong foundation for economic growth is essential, growth is not an end in itself. As the authors show convincingly, what matters is how development empowers people—how it gives them the tools, freedoms, and even the aspirations necessary to shape their own lives."
—Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor of Economics and Finance, Columbia University, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics