Connect with us

Economics

Is there a middle class in Asia?

Why this attention to the middle class? Empirical evidence shows that growth of the middle class is associated with better governance, pro-growth reforms, even better infrastructure.

Boris Sullivan

Published

on

Bangkok BTS

A colleague from the Asian Development Bank visited the other day to talk about a study he is doing on Asia’s middle class.  Yet this is not an area we have focused on in the World Bank’s East Asia region – perhaps at our cost.  I quickly googled the topic and discovered a rapidly growing literature, including a paper each by Martin Ravallion and Nancy Birdsall just this year.

 

Why this attention to the middle class?  Empirical evidence shows that growth of the middle class is associated with better governance, pro-growth reforms, even better infrastructure.

 

Vikram Nehru

Vikram Nehru, the World Bank's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region

It appears that as people gain middle class status, accumulate savings, and acquire secondary and tertiary education, they are likely to use their greater political clout to press for accountable government.  This includes the rule of law, property rights they now have more to protect!, and greater public goods supportive of growth including better infrastructure, education, fewer trade restrictions, and economic stability.  Interestingly, the larger the middle class a country has, the more likely it is to reduce poverty faster.  Ergo – if we are interested in growth and poverty reduction – we better start paying attention to the middle class.But who are the middle class?  Alas, this is where the economics profession lives up to its billing “ask ten economists a question and you get eleven answers”.

via Is there a middle class in Asia? Depends on how you define it | Making development work for all.

 

Comments

Economics

Thai economy to grow 4% in 2021 following 6.5% decline in 2020

The World Bank is now expecting the Thai economy to see 4% growth this year, and a 4.7% growth in 2022, despite current challenges from the new wave of COVID-19 infections.

Olivier Languepin

Published

on

Crowded downtown area in Bangkok

The World Bank now expects that the Thai economy to expand by 4 per cent in 2021, according to the latest World Bank Thailand Economic Monitor report “Restoring Incomes, Recovering Jobs” released on Wednesday (Jan 20).

(more…)
Continue Reading

Banking

BoT sees mild impact of new COVID-19 wave on the economy

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) does not see the new wave of COVID-19 infections as having as much of an impact on the economy as the first wave, as fewer businesses have had to be suspended.

National News Bureau of Thailand

Published

on

BANGKOK (NNT) – Despite a new and wider wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has assessed that the economic impact of the situation will not be as severe as the first wave as the effects of the virus are not as pronounced, and public health preparations, including plans for vaccination, are in place.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Economics

COVID-19 brings first consumer confidence drop in 3 months

Consumer confidence in December 2020 was measured at 50.1 points, down from 52.4 the previous month. Economic confidence was also down to 43.5 from 45.6 points.

National News Bureau of Thailand

Published

on

BANGKOK (NNT) – Concerns linked to the new wave of COVID-19 infections has weighed on both daily life and business, resulting in the first drop in the Consumer Confidence Index in 3 months.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Latest

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13,632 other subscribers

Trending