No Miracle examines the role of institutions in bridging the 'digital divide' between rich and poor nations and what that means for the country's integration into a global economy. Shifting the debate from whether institutions are important to economic development to which institutions are important and how to build them, Mitchell Wigdor expertly addresses fundamental shortcomings in the existing development literature by identifying specific institutions that mediate the relationship between Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and economic growth. In doing so he challenges those concerned with development to shift their gaze from whether institutions are important to economic development to which institutions might be the focus of government efforts and how to build them. Detailed case studies of the economic development strategies of Singapore and Malaysia from 1960 demonstrate that institution-building and economic development may be as much about process as the specific policies governments pursue. Written in accessible, non-technical, language this book should be read by everyone concerned with economic growth both in less economically developed countries and the more prosperous including those in government, international organizations, NGOs, universities, policy makers and the private sector.
’A country’s development prospects are increasingly viewed as being dependent upon the quality of its institutions, but little practical guidance has been offered in the institutional literature on development about which institutions are important, or how to build them when they are lacking. Illustrated by groundbreaking case studies of efforts by Singapore and Malaysia to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor countries, this book significantly advances our understanding of the process of economic development and the challenges of institution-building that this entails through a masterful and highly readable study that stands at the crossroads of law, economics, and public policy.’ Michael Trebilcock, University of Toronto, Canada 'The strength of this book is not ground-breaking empirical research but the use of existing studies to forward a clear and sensible argument. Theoretically, it contributes by revealing the pitfalls of NIE’s abstract thinking about institutions, and by demonstrating the usefulness of a clearer an workable definition. Furthermore, the study contributes empirically to the developmental state literature by concentrating on ICT (use)... the book should certainly be read by scholars and practitioners that are interested in the weaknesses of the prevailing NIE approach to institutional change, have an interest in comparative work on Southeast Asia’s economic transformation, or have a special interest in ICT, institutions, and economic growth.' Journal of Southeast Asian Economies