Economic growth and fragility (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1214)

This report identifies evidence on the role of economic growth in helping countries break out of fragility

Abstract

Query

Identify evidence on the role of economic growth and/or economic development in helping countries break out of fragility (not just conflict).

Key findings

There is fairly consistent evidence of a correlation between low levels of economic development and state fragility. However, there is less comprehensive literature available looking at the role economic growth has played in helping countries break out of fragility.

The strength and basis of the economy are important factors affecting the stability and resilience of states, yet are often an under-emphasised aspect of statebuilding. While acknowledging the links between the two aspects, some experts caution that economic growth is ‘not a panacea for state fragility’ and that other risks and factors can have more significant stabilising and de-stabilising influences.

Economic factors identified in the literature that can offer opportunities to transition out of fragility include: employment and job creation; infrastructure development; foreign direct investment; trade openness; and natural resources. However, economic growth can be less important than other stabilizing factors such as political stability, and in some cases economic growth can be a driver of fragility.

Citation

Hinds, R. Economic growth and fragility (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1214). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 9 pp.

Economic growth and fragility (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1214)

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