Findings from new GGDC/UNU-WIDER database grab attention of academia and media

The GGDC/UNU-WIDER Economic Transformation Database was launched on 17 February 2021 along with the key findings from a new working paper revealing striking patterns of re-industrialization in developing economies in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia.

In their WIDER Working Paper, A manufacturing renaissance? Industrialization trends in the developing world, the authors Gaaitzen de Vries, Emmanuel Mensah, Hagen Kruse, and Kunal Sen challenge the long-held view that industrialization is in decline across developing countries and that manufacturing may no longer hold a role in driving sustainable growth and development. 

The study’s findings — as well as the up-to-date and extensive data contained in the database — brought together leading development economists worldwide to discuss challenges and prospects for industrialization, in particular from the point of view of employment in manufacturing and patterns of technological change in sub-Saharan economies. 

Pieces referencing the work of the collaborative project between the Groningen Growth and Development Centre and UNU-WIDER included articles by Dani Rodrik on Project  Syndicate, as well as by Xinshen Diao, Mia Ellis, Margaret McMillan, and Rodrik in their pieces for VoxEU and UNIDO

The research has also featured in an editorial in The Economist discussing the recent research on the prospect of indutrialization in Africa’s economic transformation. In addition, the project researchers’ article on Africa’s manufacturing renaissance in The Conversation with over 8,000 reads in February reprints across 11 websites. A related article also featured on UNIDO’s Industrial Analytics Platform

Links to online articles 

The Conversation | Many African countries had a surprise manufacturing surge in 2010s – it bodes well for the years ahead, by Gaaitzen de Vries, Emmanuel Mensah, Hagen Kruse, and Kunal Sen

UNIDO Industrial Analytics Platform | Are we witnessing a manufacturing renaissance in Africa? by Hagen Kruse, Emmanuel Mensah, Kunal Sen, and Gaaitzen de Vries

VoxEU | Africa’s manufacturing puzzle: Evidence from Tanzanian and Ethiopian firms, by Xinshen Diao, Mia Ellis, Margaret McMillan, and Dani Rodrik

Project Syndicate | Poor Countries’ Technology Dilemma, by Dani Rodrik (subscription required)

The Economist | African industry is doing better than previously thought - A well-worn path to prosperity is still open (subscription required)


Presentation at 2021 annual conference, Structural Transformation and Economic Growth research initiative – 13 January 2021