Structural transformation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)

Wim Naudé, Adam Szirmai & Nobuya Haraguchi


This paper provides a comparative overview of the experiences of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) with structural transformation since the 1980s. We evaluate the different outcomes in industrialisation in these countries, explore the reasons for success (and failure); we also ask what currently industrially lagging countries can learn from the BRICS in this regard, and what impact their industrialisation had on poverty reduction. We point out that important areas for future research and current challenges remain. Foremost in this is the need for BRICS to drive their further structural economic transformation through innovation, taking into consideration their stage of development and the particulars of the sectors involved. As they develop, entrepreneurship and the role of the private sector seem to become more important. The paper is based on our edited book published in 2015 by Oxford University Press 'Structural Change and Industrial Development in the BRICS'.

Key words: Structural change, industrialisation, manufacturing, development, entrepreneurship, innovation, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS)

JEL Classification: O14, L52, L60, L26, O32, O57