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Latin America and the 'high performing Asian economies': growth and debt


  • John Weeks

    (Centre for Development Policy and Research, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK)


Prior to the Asian financial crisis, it was accepted wisdom to compare the growth of Latin America unfavourably to that of a selection of East and Southeast Asian countries (the so-called high performing Asian economies). This paper presents statistics that indicate that the differences in performance may have been less than as commonly presented. A modified Harrod-Domar model is applied to the Latin American countries, and the results suggest that a major determinant of slower growth in Latin America was the debt service burden. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • John Weeks, 2000. "Latin America and the 'high performing Asian economies': growth and debt," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 625-654.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:5:p:625-654 DOI: 10.1002/1099-1328(200007)12:5<625::AID-JID652>3.0.CO;2-O

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ajit Singh, 1998. "Savings, investment and the corporation in the East Asian miracle," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(6), pages 112-137.
    2. de Pinies, Jaime, 1989. "Debt sustainability and overadjustment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 29-43, January.
    3. Amsden, Alice H., 1994. "Why isn't the whole world experimenting with the East Asian model to develop?: Review of the East Asian miracle," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 627-633, April.
    4. Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "King Kong Meets Godzilla: The World Bank and The East Asian Miracle," CEPR Discussion Papers 944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
    6. Rodrik, Dani, 1990. "How should structural adjustment programs be designed?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 933-947, July.
    7. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
    8. Chang, Ha-Joon, 1993. "The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in Korea," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 131-157, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2010. "Using complex networks analysis to assess the evolution of international economic integration: The cases of East Asia and Latin America," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 215-239.
    2. Karaman, Filiz & Aydogan, E. Tomris & Geyikdagi, V. Necla, 2015. "Economic Convergence: A Panel Analysis of Growth Variables in Selected Asian and Latin American Countries - Convergenza economica: un’analisi panel di variabili di crescita in una selezione di paesi a," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 68(3), pages 385-400.
    3. Irina Bilan & Iulian Ihnatov, 2015. "Public Debt and Economic Growth: A Two-Sided Story," International Journal of Economic Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 24-39, June.
    4. Dijkstra, Geske & Hermes, Niels, 2001. "The Uncertainty of Debt Service Payments and Economic Growth of HIPCs: Is there a Case for Debt Relief?," WIDER Working Paper Series 122, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Javier Reyes & Giorgio Fagiolo & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Using a complex weighted-network approach to assess the evolution of international economic integration: The cases of East Asia and Latin America," LEM Papers Series 2008/10, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Winston Moore & Chrystol Thomas, 2010. "A meta-analysis of the relationship between debt and growth," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 214-225, September.
    7. Geske Dijkstra, 2013. "What Did US$18 bn Achieve? The 2005 Debt Relief to Nigeria," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(5), pages 553-574, September.

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