A Comparative Analysis of East Asia and Central Asia
Economists, political scientists, and development practitioners have offered nu- merous convincing explanations of why development projects often fail or pol- icy and institutional reforms are implemented only half-heartedly and do not materialize as expected. In fact, empirical research confirms that the vast major- ity of less or least developed countries experienced a slow or highly volatile economic growth performance over the last sixty years. Only a few countries managed to sustainably grow over a long period of time with only minor or short recessions, but with social progress and significant reductions in poverty. Al- most all of these high-performing economies are located in East Asia. This book is dedicated to these so-called developmental states. The study addresses the question why and how successful economic catching-up processes could be realized. The author applies Chalmers Johnson’s developmental-state approach and improves its theoretical foundation so that it gains explanatory power and becomes applicable to a greater variety of research questions. This approach, located at the interface of economics and politics, is being theoreti- cally founded by linking it to Douglass C. North’s theory of institutional change. Thereby, the author is able to explain success and failure of economic reform and catching-up processes by accounting for the importance of political, eco- nomic, and social institutions, formal as well as informal ones, in political set- tings in which governments assume an active role in shaping and conducting economic policies. Confronting the reader with detailed, comprehensive case studies of devel- opmental states in Asia, Manuel Stark...
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