Asia's growth is the story of our times

Future historians will highlight the rapid rise in emerging countries' living standards, not the global financial crisis, argues Lawrence Summers.

When we are all dead, historians will look back on the previous two decades and identify a key process that will distinguish it from all other periods, according to Lawrence Summers, an economic adviser to President Obama. Perhaps surprisingly, it won’t be the end of the cold war, nor the conflict between the modern, industrial world and parts of newly assertive Islamic communities.

Instead, “the story of our times” is the rise of emerging economies, especially those in Asia.

“Between the age of Pericles in 500 BC to the early stages of the industrial revolution in 1800 London, living standards rose by about 50%. For the next century they rose by 50% again each...

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