The Art of Economic Catch-Up
In his previous Schumpeter Prize-winning work,
Lee analysed the 'middle-income trap', in which a developing country grows strongly only to plateau at a certain point. Yet
certain developing countries, most significantly China, have managed to escape this trap. Building on the conception of the
ladder from developing to developed countries being kicked way, this book suggests alternative ways, such as 'leapfrogging',
in which latecomers can catch up with their forerunners. Providing policy solutions for development challenges in non-technical
terms, Lee frames his theories with insightful and inventive allegories. In doing so, Lee also accounts for the catch-up paradox,
in which one cannot conclusively catch-up if they are continually trying to follow the path of those ahead. He argues that
eventual catch-up and overtaking require pursuing a path that differs from that taken by forerunners. This highly original
and accessible book will appeal to students, scholars, practitioners, and anyone interested in economic development and innovation.
1. Introduction; 2. Different mechanisms of growth in poor and rich nations and the narrow pathway in between; 3. The three
detours and capability building; 4. The detour of promoting big businesses and SMEs during transition; 5. Flying on a balloon
out of the windows of opportunity: why and how to leapfrog; 6. Recapitulation of the art; 7. Practicing the art in late latecomers.
A highly original book that provides policy solutions for development challenges, framing them with insightful and inventive