post-apartheid South Africa remains uncertain, with strong pressures for redistribution towards the poor black majority—a redistribution that requires a faster rate of economic growth (Chapter 15).
Despite many disappointments in the performance of resource-abundant countries outside of the 'regions of recent settlement' we believe it is clear that pessimism about resource-led growth is firmly refuted by the historical record that we have outlined. Even if growth is 'dependent', the stable growth of the 'North' has meant that the 'South' has had the opportunity to grow as a consequence. The performance of the laggards is clearly due more to internal problems and policy failures than to lack of opportunities in the world market.
We therefore feel that the mainstream liberal framework, with a dose of interventionism, has on the whole been vindicated. International trade and factor movements were instrumental when it came to raising the rate of growth in resource-abundant economies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, albeit under circumstances that may have been fairly unique to that period. That some countries performed badly later is a different story. They made the wrong policy choices and either failed to industrialize, or industrialized in an inefficient manner. That is, they failed to make the transition that has been critical for making the best use of trade in the second half of the twentieth century when international exchange of goods and services has indeed been an engine of growth again—perhaps even more than it was during the 'golden age' of 1870-1914. The next chapter further explores the nature of the relationship between natural resources, policy and economic growth with reference to a short-run macroeconomic model.
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