Does East Asian Experience Can Be Used as Lesson for Other Developing Countries?

Alessandra Grillo n° 396176

Emerging Economies (2011)

Extended essay question

c) Do the experience of the East Asian economies provide useful lessons for other developing countries aspiring to industrialization?

Since 1960 Asia, the largest and most populous of the continents, has grown and has became richer faster than any other region in the world. Asia’s growth did not occur at the same rate all over the continent. The western part of Asia grew during this period at about the same rate of the rest of the world but the eastern half ( China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines ) had a superior performance and have been hailed as models of achievement for other emerging economies.
Among the 10 East Asian’s countries the worst performer was the Philippines, which grew at about 2 per cent a year ( in per capita terms ), about equal to the average of all the others non-Asian countries. Thailand, Japan and Malaysia achieved a growth rate of 3 to 5 per cent. This growth rate is modest if we compare it to the phenomenal growth of the “ Four Tigers ” ( Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan ) which had annual growth rates of output per person well in excess of 6 per cent sustained for 30 years. The economic performance of East Asian countries from the 1960s to 1990s was so extraordinary and exceptional that is generally called the “ East Asian Miracle “. In the same period many other developing countries experienced an extraordinary lack of growth, most of all Africa so that someone talks about the “ Africa’s Growth Tragedy”. This contrast between the “ East Asian Miracle “ and the “ Africa’s Growth Tragedy “ is very dramatic because the two regions started both from very similar per capita income, economic structure and human development. The effects and implication of 40 years of astonishing growth ( or lack of growth ) are much more than the simple divergence in income: differences in the extent of poverty,...