Working Papers

From “Structural Change” to “Transformative Change”: Rationale and Implications

This paper examines the relationship between “Transformative Change,” advocated by the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, and “Structural Change,” which has been a longstanding and important concept in Development Economics. It shows that while structural change is still relevant, growing concerns for social development and environmental protection made it necessary to switch to the more encompassing concept of “Transformative Change” that provides greater space for inclusion and interaction of all three dimensions of sustainable development. The paper notes that, in the era of greater globalization, countries have followed more varied patterns of structural change, all of which are not equally suitable for sustainable development. The paper notes that Transformative Change subsumes structural change, and it discusses the modifications that structural change needs to be more compatible with sustainable development.

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