Jagdish Bhagwati provides an argument for more trade liberalization that should be embraced by progressives, and in doing so makes the case against Obama’s World Bank nominee:

In fact, it is the rapid acceleration of economic growth in the major emerging countries that has reduced poverty, not only directly, through jobs and higher incomes, but also by generating the revenues governments need to undertake the public-health, education, and other programs that sustain poverty reduction – and growth – in the long term….

The problem with Kim, and presumably with the Obama administration’s development experts, is that they do not understand that successful development requires big-payoff pro-reform, pro-growth policies, not just small-payoff micro-level policies….

Kim is hardly likely to understand this dynamic. A decade ago, he cheered on the tirades against “neoliberal” reforms that, in fact, were the harbingers of higher growth and lower poverty around the world. The World Bank presidency should not be an apprenticeship.

Bhagwati suggests Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Laura Tyson as better choices.

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