IMF on Asian development

In: Uncategorized

6 Sep 2006

It is a pity that so few people look at the masses of material published at this time of year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. For example, the new edition of the IMF’s twice-yearly World Economic Outlook includes a chapter on patterns of economic development and growth in Asia (PDF). It points out that from 1981-2001 the number of people living in extreme poverty in East Asia declined dramatically with a fall of 400 million in China alone (using the meagre one dollar a day standard). Asia’s real income per head grew sevenfold from 1950-2005.

However, not all the news is good. Latin America and other developing economies lagged behind Asia. Also 700 million Asians, many of them in rural areas, still live in extreme poverty. The later statistic is from a study by Shahua Chen and Martin Ravallion in The World Bank Research Observer 9 (2) Fall 2004 but it does not appear to be available on the internet.