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High Performing Asian Economies


  • Robert W. Fogel


To American and European economists in 1945, the countries of Asia were unpromising candidates for high economic growth. In 1950 even the most prosperous of these countries had a per capita income less than 25 percent of that of the United States. Between the mid-1960s and the end of the twentieth century, however, many of the countries of South and Southeast Asia experienced vigorous economic growth, some with growth rates far exceeding the previous growth rates of the industrialized countries. Forecasts that the region's population growth would outstrip its capacity to feed itself, and that its economic growth would falter, proved to be incorrect. Growth rates will probably continue at high levels in Southeast Asia for at least another generation. This forecast is based on 4 factors: the trend toward rising labor force participation rates, the shift from low to high productivity sectors, continued increases in the educational level of the labor force, and other improvements in the quality of output that are at present not accurately measured in national income accounts.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fogel, 2004. "High Performing Asian Economies," NBER Working Papers 10752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10752
    Note: EFG

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clark, Colin, 1976. "Economic Development in Communist China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 239-264, April.
    2. Healey, Derek T, 1972. "Development Policy: New Thinking About an Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 757-797, September.
    3. Robert W. Fogel, 2003. "Forecasting The Demand For Health Care In Oecd Nations And China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 1-10, January.
    4. S. Chandrasekhar, 1968. "How India is tackling her population problem," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 5(2), pages 642-650, June.
    5. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Chakravarty, Sukhamoy, 1969. "Contributions to Indian Economic Analysis: A Survey," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 2-73, Part II S.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert W. Fogel, 2008. "The Impact of the Asian Miracle on the Theory of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Understanding Long-Run Economic Growth: Geography, Institutions, and the Knowledge Economy, pages 311-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert W. Fogel, 2006. "Why China is Likely to Achieve its Growth Objectives," NBER Working Papers 12122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Hu, Linlin & Liu, Yuanli & Mahal, Ajay & Yip, Winnie, 2010. "The contribution of population health and demographic change to economic growth in China and India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 17-33, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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