This Commentary presents perspectives on The Growth Report: Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development, a report of the international Commission on Growth and Development. It reports that sustained growth is possible for nascent market economies but makes explicit that its studies show that growth requires substantial time periods and active government involvement to develop market institutions and overcome cultural obstacles to establishing relationships that make durable markets possible. Thus it goes beyond much of recent development literature that either suggests that sources of growth are unknown or that sometimes focuses on a list of legal prerequisites to a functioning market (which I have characterized in previous Commentaries and articles as the “instant-mix recipe for markets”). This Commentary discusses the effectiveness of market approaches to development that are designed to create economic progress and leaves to my other writings comments on when and how competition enforcement agencies can enhance the development of market economies. This Commentary reviews why some economic development programs have not been successful, why -- when they are successful -- economic growth is not likely to be instantaneous, and why there is no universally applicable plan for sustainable development.
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