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Development through Manufacturing

Pathways to Industrialization in the Twentyfirst Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms edited by Adam Szirmai, Wim Naudé and Ludovico Alcorta, UNU-WIDER Studies in Development Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013; pp xxi +443, £ 60.

During the latter half of the 20th century, two important structural changes have occurred in countries across the developing world. The first is the decline of the share of the industrial sector in gross domestic product (GDP) and second is the decline of the importance of the state in industrialisation.

Regarding the first issue, the service sector has become an important component of the GDP of most developing countries. Second, with the paring down of the role of the state, its involvement in directing and fostering industrialisation significantly reduced. The latter has manifested itself in the form of most countries giving up industrial policies and leaving the responsibility of industrialisation entirely to the market. Available empirical evidence from across the developing world shows that this policy of dirigisme has had negative consequences, not just in terms of rate of industrialisation itself, but also in terms of its sustainability. This has led to a reversal of policies in the 21st century with the state playing a more active role in the promotion of sustainable industrialisation. Viewed in such light, the book under review is extremely relevant regarding the challenges to industrialisation in developing countries.

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