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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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Development Strategy: Balancing Market and Government Failure

Development Strategy: Balancing Market and Government Failure

Chapter:
(p.65) Chapter 4 Development Strategy: Balancing Market and Government Failure
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

Shantayanan Devarajan

Ravi Kanbur

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0005

This chapter describes the evolution of development economics thinking after the Second World War as one of a constantly shifting balance between addressing market failures and government failures. The pendulum has swung from statist “big push,” through market-oriented “Washington Consensus,” to a more balanced approach between state and market that also includes the role of civil society as a third player. The chapter interprets these swings as not just technical responses to real-world problems with either approach, but as the result of political forces and institutional incentives. Looking ahead, the chapter sees development thinking in the future being dominated by two issues that go beyond the “market-versus-state” dichotomy: sub-national pockets of poverty, and global public goods. The chapter concludes by noting that development economics thinking proceeds in evolutionary rather than revolutionary steps, with each shift building on the experience of the previous phase.

Keywords:   market failure, government failure, Washington Consensus, civil society, politics, global public goods, sub-national government

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