Human development in millennial economies

Cover Of Putting People First Final Report From Emerging Markets Symposia

Putting People First: Human Development in Millennial Economies, a monograph that summarises the outcomes of the nine Emerging Markets symposia (2009-18) and considers the impacts of the COVID pandemic on 20 emerging economies, was launched at Green Templeton College on 8 September.

Ian Scott, Executive Director of the Emerging Markets Symposium, stresses the monograph’s findings: that sustainable economic growth, social coherence and political stability in Millennial economies are partially predicated on human development; that human development is a function of human capital formation/accumulation and human welfare/well-being; that public, private and civic initiatives to promote human development in these economies must balance national economic interests with principles of human equality and equity; that the speed, scope and sustainability of human development are governed by political feasibility; that the comparative advantages and disadvantages of economic and social systems are strongly influenced by cumulative and circular causation; and that many seemingly immutable socioeconomic problems can be attenuated if not resolved.

The monograph concludes that:

  • economic and social development in Millennial economies since c.1980, particularly in the first decade of the 21st century, was distinguished by:
    • The unprecedented speed and scale of economic, social, cultural, demographic and spatial change;
    • The development of national, corporate, communal and individual capacities, capabilities and competencies;
    • The partial convergence of human well-being in advanced and Millennial economies.
  • The least vulnerable Millennial economies entered the 2007–09 recession later and came out of it earlier than those that were more vulnerable. After the recession:
    • Most Millennial economies suffered from the direct and indirect consequences of declining productivity;
    • Human well-being in advanced economies and (particularly the most) vulnerable Millennial economies diverged.
  • Whereas many observers see the post-war history of human welfare in advanced economies as long periods of improvement followed by declining expectations and pessimistic views on the future, others point to relative optimism based on recent improvements in living conditions in Millennial economies.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Was a devastating event for which the world was less well prepared than it could have been;
    • Revealed that although some Millennial economies coped better than others, none were unscathed;
    • Served as a reminder that, in varying degrees, Millennial economies were vulnerable to future epidemic diseases and economic, environmental and geopolitical shocks that could disrupt, destroy or damage prospects for global peace, trade and governance;
    • Emphasised that growth, coherence and stability in Millennial economies would largely depend on strengthening their collective and separate resilience to future shocks through human development strategies that should include: (i) comprehensive public health services, (ii) coordinated primary healthcare systems, (iii) primary education systems articulated with secondary and tertiary systems in which strategic roles are played by public, private and civic sector employers.

Read the full monograph: Putting People First: Human Development in Millennial Economies.

Created: 12 September 2023