In 1960, there were 101 middle-income countries (MICs). By 2008, only thirteen had become high-income countries (HICs). Why do so many MICs fail to develop after a promising start, becoming mired in the so-called middle-income trap?
This volume addresses the special challenges MICs confront from a theoretical and a practical perspective. These challenges include maintaining sustainable economic growth while curbing rising income inequality and environmental degradation; creating social safety nets to protect those disadvantaged by economic reforms and globalization; reducing financial volatility and avoiding the crises that have frequently followed in the wake of financial liberalization; combating corruption; meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as adequate health care, free primary education, and poverty alleviation; building the institutional capacity required for effective governance and a market economy; and maintaining social and political stability in the face of rising expectations and demands on the state.
This is the first volume on MICs that addresses law and development issues from the perspective of political, administrative, and legal institutions and policies. Most of the existing literature that specifically discusses MICs, including empirical studies that sort by levels of wealth and distinguish between low-income countries (LICs), MICs, and HICs, is by economists or development specialists. There are many articles, for example, on international trade, foreign investment, financing and the banking sector, fiscal policy and currency exchange, technology transfer, and taxation, as well as traditional development topics such as infra- structure, rural development, urban planning, the environment, social welfare systems, and health care.