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Tiger Economies Under Threat : A Comparative Analysis of Malaysia's Industrial Prospects and Policy Options


  • Shahid Yusuf
  • Kaoru Nabeshima


The Southeast Asian Tigers feel threatened. Even though their growth rates have remained above the average for the world and also above the average for developing countries, their economic performance falls short of that in the first half of the 1990s. The underlying worry is that it presages the beginning of a downward trend, the harbingers of which are lower rates of investment, persistently low rates of total factor productivity, and low levels of innovativeness. The Southeast Asian Tigers' worries motivate three questions, which this book attempts to answer. First, are the Tigers rightly threatened by a creeping economic sclerosis or what some observers are calling the middle-income trap? Second, if the threat is real, what are the underlying causes? Third, are there ways of neutralizing the problems and at least maintaining if not raising the growth rates of the recent past? This book will respond to these questions by means of a comparative analysis of the Tiger economies that is centered on Malaysia. This analysis draws on a comprehensive set of techniques and indicators to assess competitive pressures, to gauge industrial and technological capabilities, and to indicate some of the directions industrial change in Southeast Asia could take. Thus, the book seeks not only to view industrial evolution in the region from a comparative perspective taking account also of what is happening and has happened in other parts of East Asia but also to illuminate this ongoing and uncertain process using some of the latest empirical techniques devised for this purpose. The balance of this chapter provides the developmental and international contexts with reference to which these questions will be addressed. It explains the book's preferred angles to tackling them. The chapter also outlines the contents of the volume and foreshadows the principal findings and conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2009. "Tiger Economies Under Threat : A Comparative Analysis of Malaysia's Industrial Prospects and Policy Options," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2680, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2680

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Howard White & Tony Killick & Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa & Marie-Angelique Savane, 2001. "African Poverty at the Millennium : Causes, Complexities, and Challenges," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13866, March.
    2. Townsend, R.F., 1999. "Agriculture Incentives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Policy Challanges," Papers 444, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    3. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
    4. Beata K. Smarzynska & Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Corruption and Cross-Border Investment: Firm-Level Evidence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 494, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2014. "Industrialisation through State-MNC Partnership: Lessons from the Malaysia's National Car Project," Departmental Working Papers 2014-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Schellekens, Philip, 2013. "A Changing China: Implications for Developing Countries," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 118, pages 1-9, May.
    3. Thailand Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board & World Bank, 2010. "Industrial Change in the Bangkok Urban Region," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27380, The World Bank.
    4. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Tanaka, Kiyoyasu, 2011. "Innovation networks in China, Japan, and Korea : further evidence from U.S. patent data," IDE Discussion Papers 297, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    5. Rajah RASIAH, 2013. "Stimulating Innovation in ASEAN Institutional Support, R&D Activity and Intellectual Property Rights," Working Papers DP-2013-28, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    6. Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "Knowledge cluster formation as a science policy: lessons learned," MPRA Paper 33978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kuroiwa, Ikuo & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Tanaka, Kiyoyasu, 2011. "Innovation networks in China, Japan, and Korea : evidence from Japanese patent data," IDE Discussion Papers 285, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    8. Nabeshima, Kaoru, 2011. "Growth strategies in a greener world," IDE Discussion Papers 314, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    9. Philip Schellekens, 2013. "A Changing China : Implications for Developing Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16115, The World Bank.
    10. Antonio Angelino, 2017. "Human capital shortages in the Vietnamese industry. A firm-level analysis," Working Papers 1701, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    11. Kumagai, Satoru, 2014. "The middle-income trap from the viewpoint of trade structures," IDE Discussion Papers 482, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    12. Doner, Richard, 2012. "Success as Trap? Crisis Response And Challenges To Economic Upgrading in Export-Oriented Southeast Asia," Working Papers 45, JICA Research Institute.
    13. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Kang, Byeongwoo & Kashcheeva, Mila, 2016. "Descriptive analysis of the knowledge network formation in East Asia," IDE Discussion Papers 558, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    14. Rigg, Jonathan & Promphaking, Buapun & Le Mare, Ann, 2014. "Personalizing the Middle-Income Trap: An Inter-Generational Migrant View from Rural Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 184-198.


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