This compilation of case studies and essays focuses on the role of public policy in the experience of East Asian economies. A major theme running through the volume is regional learning and regional contagion—the spread of that learning. Beginning with Japan and continuing with the impressive achievements of countries originally considered unviable in the 1950s and 1960s, like Korea and Taiwan, contributors demonstrate how regional policy lessons permeated borders easily. The 1980s brought further lessons and flows of capital to the second generation of rapid industrializers. And the 1990s saw regional contagion benefit new aspirants like Vietnam. As the chapters cumulatively reveal, however, the transferability of lessons depends on the institutional framework in which policy is formulated, the consistency of policy, and the quality of implementation.
Part 1 includes the case studies for the first generation of rapidly developing East Asian economics, while Part 2 incorporates the later generation success stories. Part 3 offers cross-country essays on public investment, foreign direct investment, and patterns that synthesize the lessons learned and propose actions for other development aspirants to pursue.
The essays fill two major gaps—the paucity of country-specific work on the institutional side of development policy and the failure to explain the mixed record of industrial policies in East Asia. The book will appeal to students and scholars of development economics and policymakers seeking to promote rapid economic advancement.