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Macroeconomic management amid ethnic diversity: Fifty years of Malaysian experience

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  • Menon, Jayant

Abstract

This paper examines the role that macroeconomic policy has played in the Malaysian development experience. Given the multiracial nature of Malaysian society, macroeconomic policy has not only been about economic stabilization, but also about addressing income disparities along racial lines in order to preserve social harmony. The affirmative action program under the New Economic Policy (NEP) was an important signaling device, and served to demonstrate that all should share in future growth. These selective interventions were clearly distortionary, and promoted a culture of dependence on state hand-outs, as well as rent-seeking behavior. It was perhaps fortunate that FDI inflows and rapid export expansion were available to augment the domestic resource base. Although its resource cost was not a major drag on growth in the past, the slowdown in FDI inflows and exports post-crisis, combined with demographic change, implies that reforms may be necessary to ensure sustainability, going forward.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 25-33

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Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:20:y:2009:i:1:p:25-33

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/asieco

Related research

Keywords: Malaysia Macroeconomic management Stabilization policy Social harmony Racial inequality;

References

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  1. Menon, Jayant, 1998. "Total factor productivity growth in foreign and domestic firms in Malaysian manufacturing," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 251-280.
  2. Jayant Menon, 2000. "How Open is Malaysia? An Analysis of Trade, Capital and Labour Flows," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 235-255, 02.
  3. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Peter G. Warr, 2002. "Vulnerability to a Currency Crisis: Lessons from the Asian Experience," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 33-57, 01.
  4. Premachandra Athukorala & Jayant Menon, 1995. "Developing with Foreign Investment: Malaysia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(1), pages 9-22.
  5. Sanjaya Lall, 1995. "Malaysia: Industrial success and the role of the government," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 759-773, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Bethuel Kinyanjui Kinuthia, 2009. "Industrialization in Malaysia: Changing role of Government and Foreign Firms," DEGIT Conference Papers c014_049, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

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