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Synthesis Paper Series

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Firm-Level Upgrading in Developing Countries

In principle, firms in developing countries benefit from the fact that advanced technologies and products have already been developed in industrialized countries and can simply be adopted, a process often referred to as industrial upgrading. But for many firms, this advantage has remained elusive.

Synthesis Paper
10 Mar 2020

Microentrepreneurship in Developing Countries

This paper reviews the recent literature in economics on small-scale entrepreneurship (“microentrepreneurship”) in low-income countries.

Synthesis Paper
11 Feb 2020

Eight Things Development Professionals Should Know about Foreign Direct Investment

Although global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) have not recovered since the 2008 financial crisis, flows to developing countries have continued to register a very modest growth. But what is the impact of these FDI inflows on the recipient developing economies?

Synthesis Paper
5 Dec 2019

Chinese Investment in Africa: How Much Do We Know?

There is a widespread belief that China plays a fundamental role in African economies, but few rigorous empirical studies to back up this view.

Synthesis Paper
17 Jul 2019

Special Economic Zones: Lessons from the Global Experience

Special economic zones (SEZs) or industrial parks can be an effective instrument to promote industrialization and structural transformation, but only when implemented properly in the right context. More than 50 years of experience with special export zones yields a mixed picture.

Synthesis Paper
16 Jul 2019