5 September 2017 | Justin Yifu Lin: How to jump-start developing economies


For decades, low-income countries have been trying to catch up with the economic progress made by industrialised, high-income nations, but few have succeeded. So how can low-income countries jump-start their economies and achieve the structural transformation that can create jobs and improve livelihoods?

To discuss this issue, this event heard from leading development economist, former chief economist for the World Bank and advisor to Chinese and African governments, Professor Justin Lin. Exploring themes from two of his recently published books, ‘Beating the Odds: Jump-Starting Developing Economies’ and ‘Going Beyond Aid: Development Cooperation for Structural Transformation’, Lin seeks to dispel a range of ideas that are commonly thought to be helping or impeding developing economies. ‘Beating the Odds’ explains what is wrong with mainstream development thinking and offers a practical blueprint for moving poor countries out of the low-income trap regardless of their circumstances. ‘Going Beyond Aid’, furthermore, argues that traditional development aid is inadequate to address the bottlenecks for the structural transformation these countries badly need.

Drawing on the successful experiences of countries such as China and South Korea and the new ideas from emerging market economies such as Brazil and India, this event presents a new narrative to broaden the debate around economic development, and the ways in which traditional aid delivery helps or hinders it.


Dirk Willem te Velde @DWteVelde  – Principal Research Fellow and Head, International Economic Development Group,ODI


Justin Lin – former World Bank Chief Economist

Melinda Bohannon @MelindaBohannon – Deputy Director for Growth & Resilience, UK Department for International Development (DFID)


Photo credit: World Bank via Flickr