China and Africa: Are there Lessons for Development?
Scott Rozelle, Stanford University
Alain de Janvry, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC-Berkeley
RSVP required by 5PM on April 16
The lost decades for China in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s look remarkably like the lost decades of Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. Poor land rights, weak incentives, incomplete markets and inappropriate investment portfolios. However, China burst out of its stagnation in the 1980s and has enjoyed three decades of remarkable growth. In this talk Rozelle examines the record of the development of China’s food economy and identifies the policies that helped generate the growth and transformation of agriculture. Incentives, markets and strategic investments by the state were key. Equally important, however, is what the state did not do. Policies that worked and those that failed (or those that were ignored) are addressed. Most importantly, Rozelle tries to take an objective, nuanced look at the lessons that might be learned and those that are not relevant for Africa. Many parts of Africa have experienced positive growth during the past decade. Rozelle examines if there are any lessons that might be helpful in turning ten positive years into several more decades of transformation.