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Bangladesh has been stranded in "developing country" status for the last 50 years or so. Its HDI is also very low.

Is corruption the root cause this country is stranded in a "developing country" status?

Or, is it a meta-cause?

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    This Wikipedia article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… lists several reasons for Bangladesh. I suspect that for other countries the reasons will be similar, but different. In particular, it says: "The economy faces challenges of infrastructure bottlenecks, insufficient power and gas supplies, bureaucratic corruption, natural calamities and a lack of skilled workers." – Mark Sapir Sep 23 '20 at 2:08
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    Is "corruption" really a reason for anything? It seems more like a symptom of other things, or a means to some end, i.e. some domestic rascal or outside power deploys some human chess pieces to block off or control some resource. – agc Sep 23 '20 at 3:50
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    This is really an invitation for everyone to bash Bangladesh and SE Asia with one opinion or another. Or, if so inclined, they'll bash on the rich countries for being mean to SE Asia instead. In fact, this can be extended to other poor countries. Thing is, looking at wikipedia's entry, the whole area is "developing countries". Pick something more specific and ask about it. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 23 '20 at 5:54
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica, my question is very specific. – user366312 Sep 23 '20 at 6:01
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    And my answer is: no, corruption, while present, isn't the only problem and I can give you a whole bunch of opinions what else is wrong with Bangladesh. Other people will have different opinions on what else is wrong. So your question really boils down to "what's wrong with Bangladesh?". Well, at least this Q is not about all of SE Asia as it was when it first came out. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 23 '20 at 6:08
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Something like this is the sum of positive factors, the sum of negative factors, and various feedback loops.

  • A low elevation and flood risks from rivers hinders development. This can be overcome by well-maintained levees, but those are expensive.
  • A country with few natural resources has to find other things to export. This could be cheap labor or expensive labor.
  • A high population density can represent either an urban population without rural areas or an overpopulated countryside.
  • A low median age can represent either a good ratio of young people to pensioners or plenty of unemployed youth looking for too few jobs.

Keep in mind that the "developed" nations don't stand still. The goal is moving and catching up is difficult.

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    A low elevation and flood risks from rivers hinders development. This can be overcome by well-maintained levees, but those are expensive. --- International donors supplied billions of dollars over the years to do exactly this. All money was eaten up by corrupt eurocrats and local government bodies. – user366312 Sep 24 '20 at 1:54
  • A country with few natural resources has to find other things to export. This could be cheap labor or expensive labor. --- BD is one of the biggest suppliers of labor to the Gulf countries. That doesn't help much as the remittances supplied by those poor guys are embezzled by corrupt politicians. – user366312 Sep 24 '20 at 1:55
  • @user366312 All money was eaten up by corrupt eurocrats BS. Bangladesh has had much less loss of life from typhoons in the past few years than it did in the past, mostly due to purpose-build shelters/elevated platforms. I am sure there is corruption, and plenty of it, but get your facts straight before you claim none of the funds were correctly used. economist.com/schools-brief/2020/05/30/… – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 24 '20 at 2:35
  • @user366312: Levees and so on don't actually work all that well. They may prevent small floods, but turn large ones into major disasters. – jamesqf Sep 24 '20 at 3:51
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    @jamesqf: The Dutch would disagree. The major disaster in 1953 was due to deteriorated levees after WW2, with new levees there has been only small, contained flooding. The Netherlands are of course at low elevation and densely populated, just like Bangladesh., but at the opposite of the HDI scale. And importantly, it's also at the opposite of the corruption scale. – MSalters Sep 25 '20 at 10:15

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