Joe Studwell's How Asia Works

Decent Essays
In How Asia Works- Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region, Joe Studwell explores the East Asian developmental successes of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China by challenging the prominent theory of developmental economics. He uses the same theory to examine the lagging behind of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Studwell evaluates the performance of these economies by a recipe he has concocted in which he explains as, “an historical review of east Asian economic development shows that the recipe for success has been as simple as one, two, three: household farming, export-oriented manufacturing, and closely controlled finance that supports these two sectors (Studwell 267).” The first stage requires land reforms…show more content…
The successes are named as South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Malaysia and Thailand are considered to be moderately performing, but lagging behind. Finally, he classifies the Philippines and Indonesia as failures. The final section of the book is solely dedicated to China as it presents a unique case. China has developmental characteristics that are similar to both the successful countries of Northeast Asia as well as the poorer Southeastern Asian countries. China has made great progresses and overcome great disasters. It has worked closely alongside the World Bank and even receives technical support from it when needed. But not without paranoia, which has actually caused China to prosper. Unlike the northeastern countries, Chinese peasants do not own their own land as it is collectively owned and is not allowed to be sold under law. In modern times, China’s developmental plan is based off of recognizing the past failures associated with state-led growth, while allowing state companies to play an important role in its economy. Also, foreign owned companies play a large role because other countries outsource their labor needs to China because it is much cheaper. Overall, Studwell states that China’s government has set the stage for the enablement of rapid economic development. The author
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