NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does a Leapfrogging Growth Strategy Raise Growth Rate? Some International Evidence

Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Anna Wong

NBER Working Paper No. 16390
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM

While openness to trade is a well-recognized hallmark of many successful emerging market economies known as “growth miracles,” another component of the growth model is a leapfrogging strategy – the use of policies to guide the industrial structural transformation ahead of a country's factor endowment. Does the leapfrogging strategy work? Opinions vary but the evidence is scarce in part because it is more difficult to measure the degree of leapfrogging than the extent of trade openness. We undertake a systematic look at the evidence across countries to assess the efficacy of such a strategy. So far, there is no strong and robust evidence that this strategy works reliably. Future research can explore a number of refinements.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16390

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