IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Manufacturing Growth, Trade and Labour Market Outcomes in East Asia; Why Did the NIEs Forge so far Ahead?


  • Chris Manning


  • Alberto Posso



This paper seeks to explain different real wage outcomes in two groups of East Asian economies: two New Industrialising Economies (NIEs: Korea and Taiwan), and three Southeast Asian economies (ASEAN-3: Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia), all of which grew rapidly for several decades prior to the Asian economic crisis. Drawing on international and national data sets, the paper examines dynamic interactions between manufacturing growth and labour market outcomes. It adopts the dualistic Lewis model, which highlights the role of ‘unlimited’ supplies of labour in economic development and the transition towards the turning point, as a heuristic device to inform the empirical analysis. A simple regression model is employed to examine the determinants of real wages over the first two decades of accelerated growth in the two groups of economies. This finds that while both demand and supply factors contributed to real wage growth, the supply variable which proxied surplus labour conditions was especially significant in the NIEs compared with the ASEAN-3. The model did not find any evidence for institutional factors having a significant impact on the different wage outcomes between the NIEs and the ASEAN-3.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Manning & Alberto Posso, 2008. "Manufacturing Growth, Trade and Labour Market Outcomes in East Asia; Why Did the NIEs Forge so far Ahead?," Departmental Working Papers 2008-23, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2008-23

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    China; global production sharing; U.S.-China trade imbalance;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2008-23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sandra Zec) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.