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How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region Paperback – 2 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846682436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846682438
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Pithy, well-written and intellectually vigorous ... Studwell's thesis is bold, his arguments persuasive, and his style pugnacious. It adds up to a highly readable and important book (Financial Times 2013-04-06)

How Asia Works is not a gripping page-turner aimed at general audiences, but it's a good read for anyone who wants to understand what actually determines whether a developing economy will succeed. Studwell's formula is refreshingly clear-even if it's very difficult to execute. (Bill Gates)

Book Description

A provocative look at what has worked - and what hasn't - in East Asian economics, now in paperback

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book covers the economic development of both North-East and South-East Asian economies in the 20th and early 21st centuries in a compare and contrast fashion, in order to create a better understanding why some made giant leaps in development, while others made gains altogether far less impressive, largely irrespective of their starting levels.

The author is a staunch defender of state guided industrial policy - a view not particularly popular with neo-liberal economists, which nevertheless does a much better job of explaining the success of economic catching up to the developed world than any alternative explanation offered in the classical economics literature.

The main thrust is a three phase explanation model, namely agricultural land redistribution towards small scale yield intensive agriculture, an export driven manufacturing development, and finally a financial system geared towards supporting these two goals.

Covered examples, where these steps have been effectively followed followed and are presented in detail, are Japan (from the Meiji restoration onwards), South Korea, Taiwan and China. On the other hand, there are cases of South East Asian economies, which decided to liberalize their economies sooner - in the author's opinion prematurely - and were thereby not capable of following the three policies effectively. These include the outright dire example of the Philippines, the moderately better one of Thailand and the best of the lot - Malaysia - which still lags significantly behind the successes of the North-East model countries.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neal on 12 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
What an amazing piece of work! Bringing together the huge amounts of history, economics, politics for 8 of East Asia biggest counties for the past 50-100 years, into a massively easy, informative book.
This details where the economic policies came from, where the countries went right, why they went wrong and all in an easy way. There are no huge graphs or data. It is told very simply, in real world terms, almost a travel book.
For someone who is living in Asia and has a passing interest in politics, I feel that this book has had a profound effect on the way I look at the world. Its that good.

And not to worry about China, they are just Taiwan 10 years ago.
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By xifang roberto on 30 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must for those who want to understand why some eastern countries had economic/industrial success while others didn't. A good companion for the present western difficulties.
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By N.Falk on 16 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Superb explanation of why US economists failed to cure South East Asian economies and why state direction can work better
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