Pour une économie du développement, modèle 3.0

PEKIN –Les écarts du revenu moyen par habitant entre les différents pays étaient faibles jusqu'à la Révolution industrielle. A partir de ce moment-là ils se sont creusés, quelques pays occidentaux industrialisés parvenant rapidement à dominer le monde sur le plan économique et politique. Avant même la crise financière qui a éclaté en 2008, l'économie mondiale s'était transformée à nouveau. Jusqu'en 2000, les pays du G7 représentaient les deux tiers du PIB mondial, mais aujourd'hui la Chine et quelques grands pays en développement sont devenus les moteurs de la croissance mondiale.

Et bien que l'on parle de la montée en puissance du continent asiatique, au cours des dernières décennies c'est seulement dans quelques pays d'Asie de l'Est que le revenu moyen par habitant a fait un bond. De 1950 à 2008, seuls 28 pays (dont seulement 12 non-occidentaux) ont réduit de 10 points de pourcentage, ou même davantage, l'écart entre leur revenu moyen par habitant et celui des USA. Durant la même période, dans plus de 150 pays le revenu par habitant est resté faible ou moyen. Réduire l'écart avec les pays industrialisés à haut revenu reste le grand défi.

Dans la période post-coloniale qui a suivi la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, le paradigme de développement dominant était une forme de structuralisme : l'objectif était de changer la structure industrielle des pays pauvres afin qu'elle ressemble à celle des pays riches. En général les structuralistes conseillaient aux gouvernements une stratégie de substitution aux importations avec intervention du secteur public pour pallier aux "défauts du marché". Appelons cela "l'Economie du développement 1.0". Les pays qui y ont adhéré ont connu au début un succès grâce aux investissements, mais il a été suivi par des crises répétées et la stagnation.

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