How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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In the 1980s and 1990s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle. Japan was going to dominate, then China. Countries were called “tigers” or “mini-dragons,” and were seen as not just development prodigies, but as a unified bloc, culturally and economically similar, and inexorably on the rise.

Joe Studwell has spent two decades as a reporter in the region, and The Financial Times said he “should be named chief myth-buster for Asian business.” In How Asia Works, Studwell distills his extensive research into the economies of nine countries—Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China—into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.

Studwell’s in-depth analysis focuses on three main areas: land policy, manufacturing, and finance. Land reform has been essential to the success of Asian economies, giving a kick start to development by utilizing a large workforce and providing capital for growth. With manufacturing, industrial development alone is not sufficient, Studwell argues. Instead, countries need “export discipline,” a government that forces companies to compete on the global scale. And in finance, effective regulation is essential for fostering, and sustaining growth. To explore all of these subjects, Studwell journeys far and wide, drawing on fascinating examples from a Philippine sugar baron’s stifling of reform to the explosive growth at a Korean steel mill.

Thoroughly researched and impressive in scope, How Asia Works is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of these dynamic countries, a region that will shape the future of the world.
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About the author

Joe Studwell is the founding editor of the China Economic Quarterly. A freelance journalist in Asia for over twenty years, he has also written for the Economist Intelligence Unit, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Asian Wall Street Journal and the The Far Eastern Economic Review. He is the author of The China Dream and Asian Godfathers.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Jul 2, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780802193476
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.

The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?

- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?

- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world. 
In The China Dream, acclaimed business journalist Joe Studwell takes to task the predictions that China will become an economic juggernaut on the world stage in the twenty-first century -- and instead foresees an economic crisis. He argues that since the days of Marco Polo, Western nations have seen the vast population of the Middle Kingdom as a fantastic opportunity for expanding trade, investing time and resources again and again in the hope to develop it, only to see, century after century, its economy crash and their dreams turn to dust. Studwell traces the most recent developments in China from Deng Xiaoping's "liberalization" of its market in the 1980s through the opening of its economy to foreign investment in the 1990s. In his rigorous analysis of the Chinese economy, government, and culture, Studwell also shows the roadblocks to the continuation of the country's unprecedented expansion and why its economy will fail once more -- but this time, harder than ever before, and with potentially catastrophic results. Provocative, flawlessly researched, and endlessly engaging, The China Dream is a book that will have the business and political worlds talking about what's really going on in China -- and what we can do to prepare for the coming crisis. "The much-needed antidote to the delusions ... about the riches to be made from investing and selling in China. Brimming with ... statistics." -- The Washington Post " An entertaining, if cautionary, tale of Western business woes in China, stretching back seven hundred years." -- Peter Wonacott, The Wall Street Journal "[A] detailed account ... An excellent examination of the political and economic history of China, fascinating and mostly unknown to Westerners." -- Booklist (starred review)
#1 New York Times Bestseller • Los Angeles Times Bestseller

One of The Wall Street Journal's 10 Books to Read Now • One of Kirkus Reviews's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year • One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of the Year

Shortlisted for the OWL Business Book Award and Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Version 2.0, Updated and Expanded, with a New Afterword

We all sense it—something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once—and it is dizzying.

In Thank You for Being Late, version 2.0, with a new afterword, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. The year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world—or to destroy it.

With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations—if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is an essential guide to the present and the future.

In The China Dream, acclaimed business journalist Joe Studwell takes to task the predictions that China will become an economic juggernaut on the world stage in the twenty-first century -- and instead foresees an economic crisis. He argues that since the days of Marco Polo, Western nations have seen the vast population of the Middle Kingdom as a fantastic opportunity for expanding trade, investing time and resources again and again in the hope to develop it, only to see, century after century, its economy crash and their dreams turn to dust. Studwell traces the most recent developments in China from Deng Xiaoping's "liberalization" of its market in the 1980s through the opening of its economy to foreign investment in the 1990s. In his rigorous analysis of the Chinese economy, government, and culture, Studwell also shows the roadblocks to the continuation of the country's unprecedented expansion and why its economy will fail once more -- but this time, harder than ever before, and with potentially catastrophic results. Provocative, flawlessly researched, and endlessly engaging, The China Dream is a book that will have the business and political worlds talking about what's really going on in China -- and what we can do to prepare for the coming crisis. "The much-needed antidote to the delusions ... about the riches to be made from investing and selling in China. Brimming with ... statistics." -- The Washington Post " An entertaining, if cautionary, tale of Western business woes in China, stretching back seven hundred years." -- Peter Wonacott, The Wall Street Journal "[A] detailed account ... An excellent examination of the political and economic history of China, fascinating and mostly unknown to Westerners." -- Booklist (starred review)
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