The developer’s dilemma in Southeast Asia

Panel discussion hosted with ESCAP

The developer’s dilemma – discussion event with ESCAP

On 26 September, UNU-WIDER, in partnership with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), hosts an event bringing together academics and international experts to discuss the developer's dilemma in Southeast Asia.

The developer’s dilemma - Structural transformation, inequality dynamics, and inclusive growth, co-edited by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Kunal Sen, Andy Sumner, and Arief Anshory Yusuf, reflects on the challenge that developing countries face during periods of economic development—the tension between building a productive economy and the unequal distribution of the benefits of economic development.

Economic development theory, associated with Kuznets, Lewis, and others, suggests that the process of structural transformation—when production transitions from lower-productivity to higher-productivity activities—leads to upward pressure on inequality, at least in the short term, because economic development processes start unevenly.

Drawing on case studies from nine developing countries, The developer’s dilemma shows that rising inequality is not inevitable. In depth analysis reveals insights into the pathways of structural transformation and the likely inequality effects—and the specific policy approaches that can best mitigate the increase in inequality.

To disseminate the key insights from this book, UNU-WIDER in partnership with ESCAP is organizing a discussion that brings together academics and international experts from the Southeast Asia region.

Watch the livestream here


14:15-14:30 Registration
14:30-14:35 Welcome and introduction
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, USG and Executive Secretary of ESCAP)
14:40 – 15:10 Presentation on the Developer’s Dilemma: overview and policy recommendations
Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER

Discussant: Hamza Ali Malik, Director, MPFD, UNESCAP
15:10 – 15:30 Presentation of Thailand case study
Waleerat Suphannachart, Kasetsart University (with Peter Warr, The Australian National University, joining online)

Discussant: Archanun Kophaiboon, Thammasat University, Bangkok
15:30 – 15:50 Presentation of Indonesia case study
Andy Sumner, King’s College London 

Discussant: Titik Anas, Special adviser to Minister of Finance and Padjadjaran University
15:50 – 16:30 Interactive session with the audience