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The political economy of middle-income traps: is South Africa in a long-run growth trap? The path to 'bounded populism'
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-09, 06:31 authored by John Da Silva LuizJohn Da Silva Luiz
The current literature on middle-income traps has been dominated by economists who have relied on economic explanations mainly around stages of development and the structural transformation of economies. But there is an equally vigorous literature from political science which speaks to the political economy of transitions. We look at the dynamics of how economic modernisation triggers structural changes with winners and losers and how this is reflected in the polarisation of the political sphere amongst middle-income countries. This paper asks the question of whether South Africa is an archetypical example of a country stuck in a trap and how this has affected the policy choices that it has made. South Africa needs to move up the value chain with a viable value proposition, and this requires a very different policy set and human capital plan.
JournalSouth African Journal of Economics
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- Business and Management Publications
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