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Reuters Counterparties: How nations Manufacture Wealth?

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Dani Rodrik has a  provocative piece  for Project Syndicate arguing that the  quest for growth  has gotten more elusive over the past few years. During the second half of the 20th Century, he says, if poor countries wanted to grow up to be rich (and didn't have the patrimony of natural resource wealth), they would have to first "move their labor from the countryside (or informal activities) to organized manufacturing". Manufacturing industries are relatively easy to replicate; they create rapid growth in productivity and incomes "regardless of the quality of domestic  policies, institutions, or geography ". That world is gone now. Achieving an Asian Tiger-style growth miracle is trickier for a couple of reasons: Technological advances have rendered manufacturing much more skill- and capital-intensive than it was in the past, even at the low-quality end of the spectrum ... It will be impossible for the next generation of industrializing countr

Reuters Counterparties: Green shoots in the housing market

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It's now five years since August 2007, which means that the US is now halfway into its very own  lost decade . There is, however, a bit of good news coming from the housing market, as the WSJ's Nick Timiraos  reports : Prices rose by their largest percentage in at least seven years during the second quarter, propelled by low inventories of properties for sale and high demand for bargain-priced foreclosures... Prices rose by 2.5% in June from a year ago, and by 6% from the previous quarter, said CoreLogic Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif., data firm. The quarterly jump was the largest since 2005... Separately, Freddie Mac, which uses a different methodology, said home prices during the second quarter jumped by 4.8% from the previous quarter. That was the largest jump since 2004. It's been long enough since we last saw this kind of rise in home prices that Bill McBride of Calculated Risk  thinks  it's worth remembering the economic effects even modest gains in