How Asia Works is a striking and enlightening book. A lively mix of scholarship, reporting and polemic. In the s and s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle, with countries seen as not just development prodigies but as a unified bloc, culturally and economically similar, and inexorably on the rise. In How Asia Works , Joe Studwell distills extensive research into the economics of nine countries—Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China—into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.
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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Named by Bill Gates as one of his Top 5 Books of the Year An Economist Best Book of the Year In the s and s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle, with countries seen as not just development prodigies but as a unified bloc, culturally and economically similar, and inexorably on the rise. In How Asia Works, Joe Studwell distills extensive research into the economics of nine countries--Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China--into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.
Impressive in scope, How Asia Works is essential reading for anyone interested in a region that will shape the future of the world. Read more Read less. Frequently bought together. Add all three to Cart. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.
Show details. Ships from and sold by Amazon SG. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Previous page. Honorary Research. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization. Next page. Studwell's book does a better job than anything else I've read of articulating the key role of agriculture in development. A good read for anyone who wants to understand what actually determines whether a developing economy will succeed. Studwell's thesis is bold, his arguments persuasive, and his style pugnacious.
It adds up to a highly readable and important book. How Asia Works is a striking and enlightening book A lively mix of scholarship, reporting and polemic. A fascinating and thoroughly deep account. Readers will find Studwell's informative and balanced report eye-opening.
If a copy of the Korean edition finds its way across the demilitarized zone to Pyongyang Quite simply, it is the best single treatment on what in Asian industrial policy worked or did not work, full of both analysis and specific detail, and covering southeast Asia in addition to the Asian tiger 'winners. Definitely recommended, you will learn lots from it, and it will upset people of virtually all ideologies. Declining to make broad pronouncements or dovetail with doctrine, Studwell demonstrates that the way Asia works isn't quite as simple as we ever imagined.
Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the ingredients for economic success. Joe Studwell is the founder of the China Economic Quarterly. He has worked as a freelance journalist in Asia for nearly two decades. Customers who bought this item also bought. How to Lie with Statistics. No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. I lived in the Philippines for 8 years and now live in Thailand. I have visited Japan and ski in South Korea every year. I was looking for a book that would explain why northeastern Asian countries [Japan, Taiwan and South Korea] have succeeded and why southeastern countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are less successful.
This book absolutely nailed it when it came to telling me what I wanted to know. This book answered my questions directly and explained how the economics and politics worked in northeastern Asia and what didn't work elsewhere.
It is a quite nice book on the Asian economic development experience. The main conjecture of the author is that active state policies have been key factor for the economic performance of North Asia Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. This policies can be summed up as agrarian reform, export disciplined industrialization and repressed financial markets.
Studwell is an acid critic of market oriented policies and, in this sense, his analysis is close to List or Ha-Joon Chang. Although his historical exploration of the Asian experiences is appealing and informative, I am not sure if the suggested policy implications are right. For instance, it is not clear when or why a country must switch from its developmentalist strategy to a more market-friendly regime. In addition, it appears to me the author has understated political stage South Korean development was based on a dictatorship.
All in all, any person interested on Asia or in topics of economic development must read this book. I would imagine that this could teach leaders of developing countries how to get the most out of the world economy to build their own nation. I picked up this book to understand how the relatively isolated Chinese economy became the powerhouse it is today. The three part strategy is clear from this book, but the repetition became quite dull.
The anecdotes helped provide some idea of how the landscape changed due to the economy in the countries the author visited. Although these anecdotes didn't have a style that particularly grabbed my attention, the author does an excellent job of providing supporting arguments for the strategy. This work cites quite a number of sources and the facts themselves are interesting to know by themselves. The book goes through the stories of the major economic players in Asia today, ending with China.
India is conspicuously absent. I stumbled on this via Gatesnotes. It was a page turner. As someone who is very familiar with Asia-I lived in Japan and frequently travel to the region for work, I must say that Studwell displayed amazing knowledge of history and culture, and wove that nicely with economics. What is also amazing is the the parallels with the current economics of the west A must read for policy makers in Latin America and Africa who are being hoodwinked by the laissez faire prescriptions of World Bank and IMF bureaucrats--folks that pretend to know how the world works through mathematical theories.
Yes, governments should let entrepreneurs take risk and make money, but by golly, get so long as get something in return by forcing them to contribute to long term economic development!
The most important premise in the book is the need for land reform to fund industrialisation. By 'land reform' he means distributing land equally among farming families, by taking it off the big landowners. Land reform does not come easily: In Japan the first and initially successful reform was after the Meiji Restoration, and the second immediately after the Second World War.
Initially Communist land reform in China was popular with the people, and the KMT were forced to copy it in Taiwan to achieve some popularity with the locals. When the South Koreans retook Korea, they found Communist land reform was very popular with the farmers, and were forced to accept it. The ensuing agricultural boom gave these governments the cash to fund industrialisation. Studwell shows how they largely got it right, by copying the 19th Century Prussian model.
In China and North Korea the agricultural boom ended when the Communists collectivised the farms. In South East Asia land reform never took place, probably because events were not dramatic enough to force it to happen. Consequently large landowners live very well, while ordinary farmers are very poor, and agricultural productivity is low. The failings in South East Asia described in this book are pretty much as described in Studwell's earlier "Asian Godfathers".
Studwell does not advocate this as a universal panacea - he points out the problems that South Korea had, and that they were lucky to get away with it - and that the system gets a country to a certain level of development, after which it is necessary to modernise - which may not always work - as in Japan.
His conclusion is that South East Asia will probably never fulfil its potential, and that China might. This book offers a helpful political-economic model for those attempting to understand Asia generally, and, most importantly, China.
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How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region
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I was just sent a link to a first review of my new book, carried in the FT. If you want to see other reviews assuming there are any , check www. Review by David Pilling. Why are the northeast Asian states of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan rich, while the southeast Asian ones of Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia are relatively poor? Is the failure of the latter because of their geography or climate, or is it because their leaders chose wrong-headed policies? Instead of taking what he presents as relatively simple steps to technological advancement, leaders were captured by their ruling elites or took bad advice from international institutions such as the World Bank.