The Political Economy of Development

Why are we so rich and they so poor?

  • Geographic factors
  • Institutions
    • Inclusive
    • Extractive
  • Regime type

Closer Look at the BRICS

  • Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

  • Very different countries, similar outcomes

Demographics and Growth

  • Population is a key element of growth
  • Reallocation effect: movement from the informal to the formal sector

Regime Type

  • Brazil: presidential democracy
    • State capitalism with ‘minority ownership’
  • Russia: hybrid regime
    • State capitalism with heavy government involvement
  • India: parliamentary democracy
    • Fairly liberal economic policies
  • China: authoritarian regime
    • State capitalism with lots of FDI
  • South Africa: parliamentary democracy
    • Liberalism with lots of FDI

Investment Promotion


Research and Development

High Technology Exports

NASDAQ listed companies

  • Brazil: 7
  • Russia: 2
  • India: 3
  • China: 248
  • South Africa: 1



Democratic Success Stories

  • Brazil

  • Kerala

  • Korea & Taiwan


  • Are the BRICS as a group likely to challenge the dominance of Western institutions like the IMF and WTO? (Besson & Zeng)

  • What is the future of U.S.- China Relations? Will the two countries continue to be strong trading partners? (PBS Frontline)