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Some Small Countries Do It Better : Rapid Growth and Its Causes in Singapore, Finland, and Ireland


  • Shahid Yusuf
  • Kaoru Nabeshima


This book is an outcome of a series of study visits to Singapore for African policy makers initiated by Jee-Peng Tan in 2005 with support from Tommy Koh in Singapore and Birger Fredriksen, Yaw Ansu, and Dzingai Mutumbuka at the World Bank. Starting in the 1960s-earlier if Japan is included-a number of East Asian economies began achieving growth rates well above the average and were able to maintain that pace until nearly the end of the 1990s. Countries, large and small, have struggled to imitate the industrial prowess of the East Asian pacesetters and to exploit the opportunities presented by globalization to expand exports. But approximating the East Asian benchmarks has proven difficult, and growth accelerations have tended to be remarkably transient.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2012. "Some Small Countries Do It Better : Rapid Growth and Its Causes in Singapore, Finland, and Ireland," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2243, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2243

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francesco Daveri & Olmo Silva, 2004. "Not only Nokia: what Finland tells us about new economy growth," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 117-163, April.
    2. Phillip Toner, 2011. "Workforce Skills and Innovation: An Overview of Major Themes in the Literature," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2011/1, OECD Publishing.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2010. "The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 7-59, January.
    4. Phillip Toner, 2011. "Workforce Skills and Innovation: An Overview of Major Themes in the Literature," OECD Education Working Papers 55, OECD Publishing.
    5. Thomas Kemeny, 2011. "Are international technology gaps growing or shrinking in the age of globalization?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-35, January.
    6. Patrick Honohan & Brendan Walsh, 2002. "Catching Up with the Leaders: The Irish Hare," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 1-78.
    7. Raphael Anton Auer, 2010. "Are Imports from Rich Nations Deskilling Emerging Economies? - Human Capital and the Dynamic Effects of Trade," Working Papers 2010-18, Swiss National Bank.
    8. Breznitz, Shiri M. & Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi, 2010. "Cluster Sustainability in Peripheral Regions: A case study on Israel's and Finland's biotechnology industries," Discussion Papers 1212, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hosono, Akio, 2013. "Industrial Strategy And Economic Transformation:," Working Papers 1002, JICA Research Institute.
    2. Laaser, Claus-Friedrich & Reiljan, Janno & Schrader, Klaus, 2015. "Some empirical findings on the structural development of the Estonian economy," Kiel Working Papers 1998, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Smita Kuriakose, 2013. "Fostering Entrepreneurship in Armenia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15783, April.
    4. Chellaraj, Gnanaraj & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2015. "Can the knowledge capital model explain foreign investment in services ? the case of Singapore," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7186, The World Bank.
    5. KANG, Byeongwoo & RANNIKKO, Heikki & TORNIKOSKI, Erno T., 2017. "How a laid-off employee becomes an entrepreneur: The case of Nokia’s Bridge program," IIR Working Paper 17-15, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    6. World Bank, 2011. "Fostering Technology Absorption in Southern African Enterprises," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2356.


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