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Did China follow the East Asian development model?


  • Andrea Boltho
  • Maria Weber


China is located in East Asia and, just as Japan, Taiwan or (South) Korea at earlier stages of their development, has now grown very rapidly for some three decades. That is not enough, however, for it to qualify for membership of the club. The East Asian development model has a number of additional and important characteristics. Four are selected for discussion: the almost constant encouragement given to investment, the manufacturing sector and external competitiveness, and pursued via a variety of fairly interventionist industrial, trade and financial policies; a concomitant belief in the virtues of intense domestic (Japan and Taiwan) and foreign (Korea) competition; a set of broadly sensible and appropriate macroeconomic policies; and a number of favourable (pre-)conditions, such as the presence of a homogeneous population, a relatively high stock of human capital, reasonable income equality and fairly authoritarian governments. China, since reforms began in the late 1970s, has shared some of these characteristics, but not all. In particular, it is still much more of a command economy than the other three countries have ever been, yet, at the same time, has embraced globalization with, arguably, much greater enthusiasm than was done, in earlier times, by Japan, Taiwan or Korea. If China's experience, however, is compared with that of other, more or less successful, developing countries, the similarities with the East Asia development model would seem to dwarf such differences

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Boltho & Maria Weber, 2009. "Did China follow the East Asian development model?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 267-286, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:267-286

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    2. Angus Maddison, 2009. "Measuring The Economic Performance Of Transition Economies: Some Lessons From Chinese Experience," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(s1), pages 423-441, July.
    3. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, January.
    4. Huang,Yasheng, 2008. "Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521898102, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prakash Kumar Shrestha Ph.D., 2013. "A Revisit of the East Asian Development Experiences in the Context of South Asia," NRB Working Paper 18/2013, Nepal Rastra Bank, Research Department.
    2. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Real exchange rate determination and the China puzzle," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 28(2), pages 1-32, November.
    3. Michael Keren, 2009. "China and India - a Note on the Influence of Hierarchy vs. Polyarchy on Economic Growth," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 325-346, December.
    4. Juann H. Hung & Rong Qian, 2010. "Why Is China's Saving Rate So High? A Comparative Study of Cross-Country Panel Data: Working Paper 2010-07," Working Papers 21920, Congressional Budget Office.
    5. repec:nrb:wpaper:nrbwp182013 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Prakash Kumar Shrestha, 2013. "Economic development in South and East Asia: empirical examination of East Asian Development Model," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 20(2), pages 1-28, December.
    7. repec:ksa:szemle:1704 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Valli Vittorio, 2012. "Growth and crisis in the Japanese economy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201207, University of Turin.

    More about this item


    China; Growth; East Asia; Economic Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East


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