Dr. Farrukh Iqbal delivered the Ehsan
Rashid Memorial Lecture at the Applied Economic Research
Centre at the University of Karachi campus on Thursday,
September 8. His topic was: How Inclusive Has Development
Been in Pakistan?
He began by saying the concept of inclusive development went beyond income growth to include a broad improvement in living standards, often proxied by indicators relating to health and education. He asked the audience to think of three outcomes. Outcome A was a situation where average incomes and health and education indicators show improvement. Outcome B was a situation where the incomes and health and education indicators among the poor show improvement. Outcome C was a situation where the rate of improvement of income, health and education indicators among the poor was faster than that on average. He noted that most development practitioners, especially those within the international donor community, thought of Outcome C as defining inclusive development. Outcome C captured the inequality of outcomes within society in a clear manner and it was an improvement in such inequality that comprised the essence of inclusive development.
Applying this notion of inclusive development to Pakistan for the last ten years or so, he noted that whereas Outcomes A and B were observed for indicators relating to income, health and education, Outcome C was not observed. Inequality of income had declined but inequality of health and education attainments had increased. By this definition, Pakistan had not achieved inclusive development since the mid-2000s.
He cautioned, however, that it was advisable to collect data for a longer time period to generate firmer conclusions. He also noted that Outcome C was a high bar and many developing countries struggle to reach it. Pakistan's experience was not unique in this regard.