Crouching Beliefs, Hidden Biases: The Rise and Fall of Growth Narratives

Author/Editor:

Reda Cherif ; Marc Engher ; Fuad Hasanov

Publication Date:

November 8, 2020

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The debate among economists about an optimal growth recipe has been the subject of competing “narratives.” We identify four major growth narratives using the text analytics of IMF country reports over 1978-2019. The narrative “Economic Structure”—services, manufacturing, and agriculture—has been on a secular decline overshadowed by the “Structural Reforms”—competitiveness, transparency, and governance. We observe the rise and fall of the “Washington Consensus”—privatization and liberalization— and the rise to dominance of the “Washington Constellation,” a collection of many disparate terms such as productivity, tourism, and inequality. Growth theory concepts such as innovation, technology, and export policy have been marginal while industrial policy, which was once perceived positively, is making a comeback.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2020/228

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

November 8, 2020

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513556864/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2020228

Format:

Paper

Pages:

28

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