In This Review

East Asian Development: Foundations and Strategies
East Asian Development: Foundations and Strategies
By Dwight H. Perkins
Harvard University Press, 2013, 222 pp

During the past half century, the global economy’s most impressive growth engines have largely resided in East and Southeast Asia. To explain the extraordinary performance of these Asian economies, Perkins draws on academic research and on his own decades-long experience as an adviser to developing countries. It comes as no surprise that the explanations vary over time and from economy to economy. Also unsurprising is the good deal of attention that Perkins pays to China, the largest of the economies examined (India and the rest of South Asia are not included). Perkins predicts that China’s outsized economic growth will decline significantly in the years ahead, perhaps to an annual rate of five percent, which would still be high by world standards. He also helpfully places China in the context of other successful Asian countries, in which, Perkins argues, high growth has been aided by a strong emphasis on education. Asian countries’ development of their nonagricultural labor forces has also played an important role, as has their steady engagement with the global economy.