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Capsule Review

Asian Economic Development--Present and Future

In This Review

Asian Economic Development--Present and Future
Edited by Robert A. Scalapino, Seizaburo Sato, and Jusuf Wan
Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1985 241 pp. $20.00 Purchase

This is an exceptionally rich and stimulating collection of essays on the various routes to development, communist and non-communist, that are being taken in East Asia. The communist states-China, North Korea and Vietnam-stand at a crossroads, with the search for reform under way in all of them, most dramatically in China. Will China continue on its present path and undertake systemic reform that will substantially deviate from the Soviet Union? Robert Dernberger believes that it is premature to proclaim the death of centralized planning and controls in China. Many of the reforms are tentative and experimental, and the leadership itself is divided about the proper course to take. As for the non-communist newly industrializing countries, Edward K.Y. Chen says that it is a misconception on the part of many Western economists (including Milton Friedman) that the Asian NICs represent the dreamland of the classical economists. Even in Hong Kong, the government is active at both micro- and macrolevels and directly intrudes by setting up private enterprises. What distinguishes the Asian NICs from other developing countries, says Chen, is the effective implementation of export-promotion policies, brought about by an efficient, growth-oriented government and a harmonious government-business relationship.

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