Economic Transformation Lessons From Large Developing Countries

Danny Leipziger, November 2015


This paper examines the key lessons for successful economic transformation based on experiences, both positive and negative, of large economies in East Asia and Latin America. As a general guide, it can be noted that countries that have successfully managed major economic transformations have done so with consistent, sustained and coordinated policies across a number of key markets. Many countries err on the side of single policy interventions that are unsupported by the many other policy actions needed to transform economies. Those that have managed their transformations well have had a longterm vision and have been able to sustain policies towards long-run objectives. They have used price signals from international markets and have been able to craft coordinated policies between the private sector and public policy agendas. This paper highlights a number of areas for policymakers to consider in designing their own transformative policies.

This paper has been prepared by Danny Leipziger (Managing Director of the Growth Dialogue) as part of a wider project on Supporting Economic Transformation in Nigeria. For more information on the work of the Growth Dialogue, go to