Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
A review of how per capita income has changed since 1970 relative to income in the United States tells us something about the risk of the middle-income trap in different countries. The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia have remained in the centre bracket on this measure, barely improving their relative position; however, China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam have moved from low to middle-income over the period.
But, nothing is fixed. Simply because some countries have stayed at middle-income level does not mean they cannot break onto higher ground in the future. Much depends on policy, productivity and demographics. However, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand will need growth rates higher than in the past to graduate to the high-income bracket by 2030.
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