This sounds like a very interesting book and I linked to your post in my weekly emerging market link post: https://emergingmarketskeptic.substack.com/p/emerging-markets-week-september-26-2022

I am very familiar with Myanmar and Philippines where these elite theories are highly applicable... Also need to point out Taiwan as my understanding was when CKS finally got his act together, he did land reform there and instead of killing-exiling the landlords, like they did in China, he forced them to become industrialists which made Taiwan an economic powerhouse... I also thought the Japanese did the same with the Samurai class-elite to largely sideline and buy them off back in the 1800s...

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Fascinating read!!

A small niggle: "Some circumstances like the possibility of losing legitimacy (e.g. China after the Cultural Revolution) can force elites to focus on economic growth" is a mismatch. The decadal growth rate during the Cultural Revolution's ten years was 6-7%, Mao's average during his 25-year tenure.

Our picture of the CR comes from embittered exiles and elites, China's 1%, egged on by our thoroughly unreliable media.

Says Yale's Maurice Meisner “In the post-Mao era, it has become fashionable to bloviate about the blemishes of the historical record of the Mao era and to keep quiet about the achievements of the time.. In fact, far from being the era of economic stagnation that is now commonly perceived, Mao’s era was one of the greatest modernization in world history, comparable with the most intense industrialization in several major latecomers in modern times, such as Germany, Japan and Russia.”

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Can't wait for the next article about increasing economic growth. Especially if you talk about how these middle income economies can move forwards.

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