Poland’s economic ascent is remarkable. After transitioning from communism, Poland’s per capita GDP growth was fast and stable - averaging about 4 percent per year. The country moved from middle to high-income status in less than 15 years.
The economy expanded rapidly: two-parts perspiration (investment) and one-part inspiration (innovation). And prosperity was shared. Jobs and income growth were broad-based, and lagging regions have been catching up. Throughout these changes, the income inequality coefficient—the Gini—did not increase. Poland has one of the lowest Gini coefficients among countries that have become high-income since 2000—the “new high-income countries” (HICs). It also has one of the lowest internal regional variations in GDP per capita.
This report discusses Poland’s experience along five dimensions. These five dimensions —a pentagon of policies and institutions— are governing, sustaining, connecting, growing, and including.
An overarching lesson from Poland’s experience is the importance of a shared vision for continued reform.