Growth scepticism hits the roads

In: Uncategorized

27 Mar 2008

Kevin Watkins, now at Oxford University’s global economic governance programme but formerly at the United Nations Development Programme and Oxfam, had a comment in yesterday’s Guardian on the scourge of traffic accidents in developing countries. Sadly he used the opportunity to take a side swipe at economic growth while also implicitly calling for more external intervention into poor countries:

“Why, then, are governments failing to protect their citizens? Partly because the victims lack a political voice. But often traffic death and injury is viewed as the inevitable collateral damage that comes with economic growth.”

Surely the key problem is that such countries do not have the resources to provide adequate safety measures. In that sense it is a problem that comes with insufficient economic growth. No doubt the more affluent such countries become they better able they will be to provide a better infrastructure for their inhabitants.