THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Parvez Hasan. Pakistan’s Economy at the Crossroads: Past Policies and Present Imperatives. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardbound. Price not given.
The book by Parvez Hasan provides a critical review of Pakistan’s development record during the first fifty years of its economic history. The assessment of the economic performance is conducted in terms of three interrelated criteria: the quantity of growth, distributional outcome of the growth process, and the sustainability of the past pattern of growth. The main finding that emerges from his careful analysis of the past development experience is that there has been a reasonably high and steady growth in Pakistan. The cost of high growth in terms of poverty alleviation and income and wealth inequalities has been higher than a possible counterfactual situation if the growth process had been restructured along different lines. The macro imbalances, which have always been large and unsustainably mainly due to wrong policy choices made in the past, have now put a big question-mark on the sustainability of unrestrained pursuit of the growth objective, which itself has been in jeopardy during the 1990s.