Economic Restructuring in East Asia and India: Perspectives by Pradeep Agrawal

By Pradeep Agrawal

This ebook presents a comparative photo of the restructuring reviews of 5 Asian economies: South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and India. on the subject of Indonesia and Thailand, the point of interest is on short-run structural adjustment measures, and with regards to South Korea and Singapore, the emphasis is on long run commercial, alternate, labour and fiscal zone rules. The bankruptcy on India perspectives the country's financial improvement within the mild of the above research. The political economic system of the policy-making approach is tested in every one case.

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The dollar appreciation of 1980-85 forced Korea to switch to a basket peg, so the appreciation of the won was kept under control. The won appreciated again in the 1985-87 period, primarily due to trade surpluses during these years. Secondly, the periods of highest real wage increases coincided with effecti ve depreciation of the won. These two movements neutralized each other to some extent. This can be interpreted in two ways: either the full competitive effects of depreciation were dampened by wage increases, or gains from exports during depreciations were directed to labour, without weakening competitive positions.

1 provides a picture of patterns in some important macroeconomic variables. The sustained growth of GNP, which actually stretches back to the 1960s, is quite obvious. Growth rates only dipped in the aftermath of the two oil price shocks (the second one appears to have had a more serious impact on Korea). Growth appears to be slackening (by Korean standards) in the last couple of years, a slowdown generally attributed to rapid increases in unit labour costs. It is interesting that, except for the years 1986-90, Korea never experienced a trade surplus.

Second, it is argued that by encouraging competition, trade liberalization enhances learning and increases productivity, innovation and growth. Third, as put forward most forcefully in the writings of Balassa (1989), openness adds to a country's capacity to weather adverse external shocks. And finally, the move from quantitative restrictions to tarilfs reduces wasteful rent-seeking activity (Krueger, 1974). Each of these propositions has been, and is still being, subject to extensive examination and the interested reader is directed to Rodrik (1993) for an excellent survey of this ongoing research.

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