Growth Theories in Light of the East Asian Experience

National Bureau of Economic Research East Asia Seminar on Economics

Book 4
University of Chicago Press
Free sample

The contributors to this volume analyze the growth experiences of Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan in light of the recently developed endogenous growth theory to provide an understanding of the economic boom in East Asia.

The theory explored in this volume attributes the phenomenal economic success of these countries to, among other factors, the role of an outward orientation—a focus on exporting rather than on protecting home markets. In addition, the importance of exchange rate behavior, of the supportive role of government policy, and of the accumulation and promotion of physical and human capital are explored in detail. This collection also examines the extent to which growth in each country became self-sustaining once it began.

Demonstrating the relevance of endogenous growth theory for studying this important region, this fourth volume in the NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics series will be of interest to observers of East Asian affairs.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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Pages
322
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ISBN
9780226386980
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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East Asia has been a paragon of global development success. The dramatic transformation of the region over the past half century—with a succession of countries having progressed from low-income to middle-income and even to high-income status—has been built on what has come to be known as the “East Asian development model.†? A combination of policies that fostered outward-oriented, labor-intensive growth while strengthening basic human capital and providing sound economic governance has been instrumental in moving hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and into economic security. Yet East Asia’s economic resurgence remains incomplete. More than 90 percent of its people now live in 10 middle-income countries, many of which can realistically aspire to high-income status in the next generation or two. But these countries are still much less affluent and productive than their high-income counterparts. Even as the region’s middle-income countries attempt to move up to high-income status, they confront a rapidly changing global and regional economic environment. Slowing growth in global trade and shifts in its patterns, rapid technological change, and evolving country circumstances all present challenges to sustaining productivity growth, fostering inclusion, and enhancing state effectiveness. A Resurgent East Asia: Navigating a Changing World is about how policy makers across developing East Asia will need to adapt their development model to effectively address these challenges in the coming decade and sustain the region’s remarkable development performance. “The world is changing. How do East Asia’s developing economies navigate this change? This is a commendable book on this topic—a must-read for policy makers, academia, and students who are interested in East Asia.†? — Chatib Basri, Former Minister of Finance, Government of Indonesia “A Resurgent East Asia is a vital publication for the most successful region as it looks to the future and the expectations of its citizens. This study helps to identify the new areas of risk and to suggest ways to ameliorate them. In so doing, it is an invaluable resource for governments. Based on first-rate analysis, it is a must-read for policy makers and everyone interested in East Asia’s development prospects!†? — Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, The Growth Dialogue, and Professor of International Business, George Washington University “This report delivers a careful and rigorous analysis of the strengths of East Asia’s ‘growth with equity’ development strategy. While noting the model’s success in lifting millions out of poverty, the report also warns of the looming challenge of maintaining growth with inclusion, and it highlights the need for countries to improve their social protection systems and ensure that opportunities are fair and available to all. A must-read for policy makers and development practitioners alike.†? — Ana Revenga, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
When the financial firestorm swept through Asia in 1997, many economists scrambled to put together a coherent explanation of such a crisis. Early responses focused on economic and currency issues but these were more likely to be symptoms of the crisis and not causes. Soon after, it became apparent that the very essence of the crisis was of a financial, capital flow and banking nature. Further investigation revealed the crucial role played by foreign money, loose lending practices by banks and unhedged $US-denominated debt interacting to generate a huge asset price bubble. The twin liberalisations of deregulating capital flows and the domestic financial sector produced an explosion in foreign lending, and in turn a domestic credit boom.This book seeks to fill the vacuum of understanding between the causes of the crisis and those of the “miracle” or boom. In many ways, financial variables and high profitability were at the heart of the unprecedented 35-year expansion, and not just the traditional explanations of accumulation and high productivity. For such reasons this book unveils the Western shuttle model (WSM) of economic take-off where catch-up growth is very much a function of exports to mature economy markets, which in turn generate super-profits and so super-growth. The WSM offers several explanations of the crisis including a loss of short term competitiveness, due in part to the asset price bubble crowding out viable export opportunities. In summary, the origins of East Asia's ascent and of its demise are but the same.
Gunnar Myrdal published his magnum opus, Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations, in 1968. He was deeply pessimistic about development prospects in Asia. The fifty years since then have witnessed a remarkable social and economic transformation in Asia - even if it has been uneven across countries and unequal between people - that would have been difficult to imagine, let alone predict at the time. Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations analyses the fascinating story of economic development in Asia spanning half a century. Asian Transformations sets the stage by discussing the contribution of Gunnar Myrdal to the debate on development then and now and providing a long-term historical perspective on Asia in the world. It then uses cross-country thematic studies on governments, economic openness, agricultural transformation, industrialization, macroeconomics, poverty and inequality, education and health, employment and unemployment, institutions, and nationalisms to analyse processes of change while recognizing the diversity in paths and outcomes. Specific country studies on China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, and sub-region studies on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, further highlight turning points in economic performance and demonstrate factors underlying success or failure. Including in-depth studies by eminent economists and social scientists, Asian Transformations comprehensively examines the phenomenal changes that are transforming economies in Asia and shifting the balance of economic power in the world and reflects on the future prospects for this continent over the next twenty-five years. It is a cohesive and multi-disciplinary study of a rapidly changing economic landscape, and makes an important contribution to understanding the complexities and processes of development from different perspectives.
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