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Inspiration vs. perspiration: what was the key to East Asia’s economic success?

Paul Krugman wrote a famous paper in the 1990s outlining the myths surrounding the Asian miracle of the 20th century. Rather than it being a ‘miracle’, he presented a less dazzling critique of Asia’s economic success. He proposed that it was a combination of stringent government policy and the further adoption of free trade that was key to sustaining economic growth in East Asia. Most of this growth occurred in eight economies, collectively referred to as the High Performing Asian Economies (HPAEs) – Japan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and the newly industrializing Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand [1]. The relationship between public policy and economic growth is now more important than ever, and in light of the continuing economic crisis in Europe, there are a number of lessons to be learnt from the success of the HPAEs.

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Asians like to Save more?

Since the second half of the last century we have seen the success of many emerging market economies. These economies were traditionally labeled the ‘Four Asian Tigers’, and refer to the economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. However, now it seems as if we must add two more economies, namely, China and India. The stories behind the success of these economies are rather well known, also it is well documented that the private saving rates of the emerging economies increase while the rates fall for the developed economies during such booms. This article will take a look at how we can explain the divergence of private saving rates in the emerging economies and the already developed economies.

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