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TFPG Controversies, Institutions, and Economic Performance in East Asia

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  • Dani Rodrik

Abstract

The controversy over the appropriate partitioning of East Asian growth into accumulation versus technical change has overlooked a fundamental indeterminacy in measurement. As a result, we cannot rule out the possibility that East Asia has in fact experienced a tremendous amount of technological progress of the labor-saving kind. Second, an index of institutional quality (drawn from work by Knack and Keefer [1995] and Easterly and Levine [1996]) does exceptionally well in rank-ordering East Asian countries according to their growth performance. A parsimonious specification containing only initial income, initial education, and institutional quality accounts for virtually all of the variation in the growth performance in the region, even when institutional quality is instrumented. Finally, the experience of Hong Kong, which has had a flat investment ratio since the 1960s, is consistent with the idea that making the transition from a low-investment economy to a high-investment economy requires a hands-on government.

Suggested Citation

  • Dani Rodrik, 1997. "TFPG Controversies, Institutions, and Economic Performance in East Asia," NBER Working Papers 5914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5914
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Kim Jong-Il & Lau Lawrence J., 1994. "The Sources of Economic Growth of the East Asian Newly Industrialized Countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 235-271, September.
    3. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    4. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    6. John Page, 1994. "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 219-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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