Skip to Main Navigation

Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: Long-Term Growth Scenarios for Thailand

July 16, 2020

DECRG Kuala Lumpur Seminar Series

  • What are Thailand’s prospects of escaping the middle-income trap and making the leap to high-income economy by the 2037 target set in the National Strategy published in 2018 by the Thai government? In this paper, using the World Bank’s Long-Term Growth Model, I simulate different long-term growth scenarios by exploring various policy reforms for Thailand to avoid being trapped as UMIC. I find that in the baseline scenario in which current trends continue, Thailand will likely remain a UMIC well passed 2037, and even passed 2050. However, a comprehensive reform agenda that includes a significant increase in aggregate investment into the 90th percentile of the UMICs’ distribution, a boost in productivity growth path to outperform that of Korea (between 1985 and 2014), an improvement in human capital growth, an increase in female labor participation and an improvement of public capital efficiency, could propel Thailand’ economy into high-income status by 2041.

    Download the paper 

    Presentation Slides

  • Mahama Samir Bandaogo is currently a Young Professional at the World Bank in the Macro, Trade and Investment Global Practice, working on Malaysia and Thailand. He completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Washington in Seattle and prior to joining the World Bank, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. His research interests lie within the fields of Macroeconomics, International Macro and Economic Growth. Samir is passionate about social justice and started a nonprofit organization called Botiminto (Botiminto means for the sake of tomorrow) that provides tutoring services to primary school students in Zigla-Koulpélé, a village in Burkina Faso. He is also an avid dancer, enjoys exercising and loves to cook.


  • WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 2020; 9:00 -10:00AM
  • WATCH: Recording