Since 1950, 13 economies have grown at an average rate of 7 percent a year or more for 25 years or longer. At that pace of expansion, an economy almost doubles in size every decade. This report is about sustained, high growth of this kind: its causes, consequences, and internal dynamics.1 One might call it a report on “economic miracles,” except that we believe the term is a misnomer. Unlike miracles, sustained, high growth can be explained and, we hope, repeated.
Growth is not an end in itself. But it makes it possible to achieve other important objectives of individuals and societies. It can spare people en masse from poverty and drudgery. Nothing else ever has. It also creates the resources to support health care, education, and the other Millennium Development Goals to which the world has committed itself. In short, we take the view that growth is a necessary, if not sufﬁ cient, condition for broader development, enlarging the scope for individuals to be productive and creative.