Trade and Development Report 1981

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This publication identifies the key issues in the global economy and the design of development strategies addressed in the Trade and Development Report over the past three decades, tracing them through its various editions. It shows how ideas, opinions and proposals expressed in the Trade and Development Report, and the analytical approaches used, differed from those of “the mainstream” and their evolution in response to new challenges. This review revisits the concept of interdependence and explains the approach of the reports to macroeconomic and financial policies in both developed and developing countries. It also summarizes development policy failures and successes over the years.



National development and the external environment

Awareness that the disarray of the world economy may be due to deep-rooted structural problems has been accompanied by renewed interest in theories of development and economic crisis. Unfortunately, the causes of growth are still not well understood, nor are the forces that shape a process of downward spiral. In the absence of a generally accepted theory of growth and stagnation, a historical view of global development can only provide a useful insight into “how we got here”. The discussion which follows focuses on a special aspect of the broader issue, namely, the interaction between national development and the external environment.


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