Photo: Zbysiu Rodak / Unsplash

ETD – Economic Transformation Database

The Economic Transformation Database will provide comprehensive, long-term, and internationally comparable sectoral data on employment and productivity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Structural transformation — when a country’s economy shifts from low-productivity sectors to those of higher productivity — is a central feature of economic growth. This change often involves the emergence and expansion of new industries, with productivity gains that can contribute to better jobs and improved livelihoods.

Looking at how industries develop and workers move from one sector to another over time can provide precious insights on how especially developing countries, especially low-income, can undertake structural transformation critical to development and achieve sustainable, long-term growth.

To support research and good policy, UNU-WIDER has partnered with the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC) of the University of Groningen to construct the Economic Transformation Database (ETD), the successor of the GGDC 10-sector database.

Open and free to use, the ETD will provide comprehensive, long-term, and internationally comparable sectoral data on employment and productivity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As a tool, it will allow users to examine the patterns and causes of structural transformation and productivity growth in today’s developing economies, including at the country, regional, or cross-country level.

The ETD will cover:

  • measures of economic growth and labour inputs for over 50 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America;
  • 12 sectors of the total economy;
  • time series with annual data from 1990 until 2018;
  • figures on value added, price deflators, and persons employed.

Other outputs of the joint project will include two working papers and two requests for research proposals on insights into economic transformation.

Key questions
  • What is the industrialization experience of developing countries in recent decades?
  • What is the relation between growth, female labour force participation, poverty reduction and sectoral patterns of employment and production?
  • Can countries achieve growth, provide good jobs, and reduce poverty without industrialization?
  • Can modern agriculture and modern services serve as an alternative mechanism of structural transformation and economic growth?
Watch this space

All working papers, events, briefs, blog posts, and opportunities to engage relating to the project will be made available on this webpage and at the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC).

UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The research will address Goal 5: Gender equality; Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth; Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure; and Goal 10: Reduced inequalities.

Context

Main subject
This project is part of Varieties of structural transformation

Theme: Current programme