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The Long Term Fate of Korea and Other “Small” Economies in East Asia: Economic Development, Integration Issues, and Political Power

In this paper it is argued that Korea and other countries in East Asia like Korea have a particular fate quite predictable in the long run in terms of economic growth and political dependency unless economic integration takes place in a particular direction. Thus the presence of the potentially giant China makes things “difficult” for “Korean” countries (e.g Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and even Japan). This fate is not coloured with optimism unless some measures are taken that ensure a particular way of integration in East Asia. It is not unique that a giant economy is the centre of economic activities for the wider region. Unlike the European Union which does not contain any giant member in its process of integration, the USA could be the closest good example of how neighbouring countries have evolved next to this giant. In East Asia the situation is not similar to that of the USA at the moment, but in this paper there is a set of propositions and arguments that predict the fate of “Korean” economies next to a potentially giant China. Several methods will be used to demonstrate the validity of these propositions (mathematical model, cluster and scale analyses, and so on). Various strategies will be examined in the context of the propositions. It will be demonstrated that the short term and long term strategies that countries such as Korea and Thailand in isolation might have to follow are not necessarily consistent unless an overall strategy of regional integration takes place.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp06-24.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp06-24
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
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  1. Jayanthakumaran, Kankesu & Sanidas, Elias, 2005. "The Impact of Unilateral and Regional Trade Liberalisation on the Intra-ASEAN 5 Founding Nations' Exports and Export-GDP Nexus," Economics Working Papers wp05-14, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  2. Sanidas, Elias, 2006. "The Huddle/Tangle Hypothesis of Regional Integration: The Case of the European Union and Its Enlargement," Economics Working Papers wp06-29, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  3. Gordon C. K. Cheung, 2004. "Chinese Diaspora as a Virtual Nation: Interactive Roles between Economic and Social Capital," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 52, pages 664-684, December.
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