Journal Article

The Odds of Achieving the MDGs

Delfin S. Go and José Alejandro Quijada

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 143-184
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/lks005
The Odds of Achieving the MDGs

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  • International Relations and International Political Economy
  • Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
  • Economic Development

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Three questions are frequently raised about the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Where do developing countries stand? What factors affect their rate of progress? Can lagging countries achieve these goals in the few years remaining until 2015? This paper examines these questions and takes a closer look at the variation in the rate of progress among developing countries. We argue that answers from the available data are surprisingly positive. In particular, three-quarters of developing countries are on target or close to being on target for all of the MDGs. Among the countries that are falling short, the average gap for the top half is about 10 percent. For those that are on target, or close to it, solid economic growth, policies, and institutions have been the key factors in their success. With improved policies and stronger growth, many countries that are close to being on target could achieve these targets by 2015 or soon after.

Keywords: F55; O19; O43

Journal Article.  13813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations and International Political Economy ; Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity ; Economic Development

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