Growth Lab

Sustained economic growth is the single most important determinant of persistent increases in living standards and reductions in poverty. The large income gap between the 10 richest and 10 poorest countries -- which now stands at a ratio of 80 to 1 -- and the massive incidence of global poverty reflects the inability of poor countries to achieve sustained growth.

Led by Ricardo Hausmann, Lant Pritchett, and Ishac Diwan at the Harvard Center for International Development (CID), the Growth Lab works to understand the dynamics of growth and to translate those insights into more effective policymaking in developing countries. The Lab places increased economic diversity and complexity at the center of the development story and uncovers how countries move into industries that offer increased productivity.

Research and experience over the last 60 years have helped to illuminate how economic growth occurs. Yet, policymakers have been largely unable to diagnose constraints to growth in specific country settings. This means they have been unable to design solutions suited to each nation’s economic and institutional conditions. Some countries continue to face difficulty triggering growth, despite significant policy reforms. These experiences reveal the limitations of conventional policy: a critical new set of tools is needed.

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