New Report from CEPR Examines International Growth Slowdown In the Era of IMF Influence

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September 25, 2000

New Report from CEPR Examines International Growth Slowdown In the Era of International Monetary Fund Influence

Calculates $15 Trillion Cost to Developing Countries of Growth Slowdown

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2000

Contact: David Levy, (202) 293-5380

WASHINGTON, DC-- As IMF and World Bank officials and G7 finance ministers meet in Prague, there is much discussion of the importance of economic growth, especially in less developed countries. It is commonly believed that the economic globalization of the last two decades has fostered economic growth. However, the official data tell a very different story, as reflected in CEPR’s new report, "The Emperor Has No Growth: Declining Economic Growth Rates in the Era of Globalization."

There will be a press conference to present the report and to highlight a nationwide day of actions in over 50 cities across the country to protest the negative impact of corporate globalization. When: Monday, September 25, 12 Noon. Where: Park across the street from the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC.

"A whole generation has been lost to most of the developing world," said economist Mark Weisbrot, co-director of CEPR and co-author of the report. "Twenty-years is a long time, and the policies of the IMF and the World Bank, and other globalizing, unaccountable institutions have clearly failed to promote economic growth."

Referring to calculations reported in the report's Appendix, CEPR Senior Policy Analyst and report co-author Robert Naiman noted that, "Sixty-one developing countries would together have had $2 trillion more in output in 1999 alone, were it not for lower growth, and $15 trillion more in output over the last two decades. These figures dwarf the present indebtedness of the poor nations. Given that the UN faults the payments on this debt for costing the lives of seven million children each year, seven million would be a very conservative estimate of the lives that could have been saved if this economic growth had not been lost."

  • Economic growth over the last 20 years has slowed dramatically. From 1960-1980, output per person grew by an average, among countries, of 83%. For 1980-2000, the average growth of output per person was 33%.
  • Mexico would have nearly twice as much income per person today if not for the growth slowdown of the last two decades; Brazil would have even more than twice its current income per person.
  • In Latin America, GDP per capita grew by 75% from 1960-1980, whereas from 1980-1998 it has risen only 6%. For sub-Saharan Africa, GDP per capita grew by 36% in the first period, while it has since fallen by 15%.

"There is no region in the world that the IMF and the Bank can point to as a success story for their policies," said Weisbrot. "And in some places-- such as Russia, which lost half of its income in the 1990's-- they have presided over economic collapses that have never been seen in the absence of war or a major natural disaster."

For more information contact CEPR or read the report here.