What’s astonishing to me is that the UN can spend two decades setting the world’s development agenda and never utter the words “industrialize”, “firms”, or “exports”. This op-ed was no exception.
I have not done the math, but here’s a conjecture: unless you are sitting on a billion barrels of crude, it’s practically impossible to become a middle-income country without an industrial sector.
The whole post is good, so I recommend a full read. Also, on a personal note, I had coffee with Chris Blattman last Friday when he came to speak at my department. It was awesome. I got more advice than I can fully absorb and admitted to being a part of the development generation who basically decided to go to graduate school based on this post. Apparently, I'm in good company.