Lahore School of Economics

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Growth Spurts and Reversals: A Historical Perspective

Happening Now 

Dr. Rashid Amjad, Graduate Institute of Development Economics

Pakistan’s sixty-seven years history has been characterized at regular intervals by spurts of high economic growth followed by periods of low to moderate growth. The recent prolonged recession accompanied by high inflation – stagflation – over the last five years (2008-13) has focused attention on the causes of these stop-go cycles and measures needed to break-out into a high and sustainable growth trajectory. The paper reviews the earlier and more recent explanations of these growth cycles and presents a new periodisation and framework to analyse and judge Pakistan’s economic performance. It argues that while Pakistan has displayed considerable resilience in facing up to the three major watersheds in its economic history – partition in 1947, the break-up of Pakistan in end-1971 and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 - the continuing impact of the last of these has been far reaching, especially its negative impact on Pakistan taking advantage of the quickening pace of globalization that followed. Drawing on this historical experience the paper poses the question whether the new democratic dispensation will finally break this cycle and what measures would be needed for it to do so.

About the presenter:

Dr. Rashid Amjad is Professor of Economics and Director, Graduate Institute of Development Studies, Lahore School of Economics. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) for a term of five years 2007-2012. He served for two and a half years (2008-10) as Chief Economist at the Pakistan Planning Commission and as Member, Planning Commission. Dr. Amjad graduated from Government College, Lahore and went on to do his Tripos in Economics (BA Hons. M.A.) as well as Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. His PhD thesis on “Private Industrial Investment in Pakistan 1960-70” was published by the Cambridge University Press, U.K. in its prestigious South Asian Studies Series.

Dr. Amjad taught at the Punjab University, Lahore for seven years between 1969 and 1980, when he left to join the ILO.In the ILO, he held a number of positions including as Director, South East Asia and the Pacific as well as led its Employment Strategy Department. He was a member of the Panel of Economists set-up to frame Pakistan’s Fifth Year Plan and contributed chapters to Pakistan’s Sixth and Seventh Five Year Plan. As Chief Economist he coordinated the preparation of the Draft Tenth Five Year Plan (2010-15). Dr. Amjad has published a number of books and a large number of articles in internationally recognized journals. Most recently he has edited (with Shahid Javed Burki) the volume, “Pakistan: Moving the Economy Forward”, (Lahore School of Economics Press) which provides a comprehensive review of economic challenges facing Pakistan and presents a short- to medium term strategy together with concrete policies to move the economy forward to a path of higher, sustained and inclusive growth.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3/26/2014 09:30:00 AM,

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