The term ‘Middle-Income Trap’ refers to countries which stagnate economically after reaching a certain level of per capita income on the basis of labour- and capital-intensive growth, and are struggling to transition towards more skill-intensive and technology-driven development. It has resonance for the increasing number of countries in Asia who have either languished in middle-income status for extended periods of time, or are worried about growth slow-downs.

This book sets outs the conceptual underpinnings of the Middle-Income Trap and explores the various ways it can be defined. It also focuses on the debate surrounding the Middle-Income Trap which questions the appropriate institutional and policy settings for middle-income countries to enable them to continue past the easy phase of economic growth. The book engages with this debate by investigating the role of institutions, human capital, and trade policy in helping countries increase their income levels and by highlighting factors which enable the shift to higher and qualitatively better growth. It questions how the large emerging economies in Asia such as China, Indonesia, and India are currently grappling with the challenges of transitioning from labour-intensive to technology- and knowledge-intensive production, and discusses what can be learnt from the countries that have been able to escape the trap to attain high-income status.

Providing a conceptual framework for the Middle-Income Trap, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Asian Economics, Comparative Economics and Asian Studies.

chapter |20 pages

Asia and the middle-income trap

An overview
ByFrancis E. Hutchinson, Sanchita Basu Das

part |26 pages

Conceptualizing the middle-income trap

chapter |24 pages

The middle-income trap turns 10

ByIndermit Gill, Homi Kharas

part |31 pages

Lessons from success

chapter |29 pages

Resilience and escaping development traps

Lessons for Asian-Pacific economies
ByAlla Myrvoda, Malhar Nabar, Changyong Rhee

part |77 pages

Country cases

chapter |20 pages

Can China rise to high income?

ByYiping Huang

chapter |25 pages

Is Indonesia trapped in the middle?

ByHaryo Aswicahyono, Hal Hill

chapter |30 pages


Escaping low-income traps and averting middle-income ones
ByShekhar Shah, Rajesh Chadha

part |68 pages

Determinants of growth

chapter |20 pages

Institutional quality and growth traps

ByDavid Dollar

chapter |28 pages

Avoiding ‘Tiger' traps

How human capital can propel countries beyond middle-income status in East Asia
ByEmmanuel Jimenez, Elizabeth M. King

chapter |18 pages

Escaping the middle-income trap

Trade, investment and innovation
ByShiro Armstrong, Tom Westland