COURSE MATERIALS FOR ECON 83: ASIAN ECONOMIES, SPRING 2000


OVERVIEW OF COURSE

REQUIRED TEXTS

REFERENCE MATERIAL ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

COURSE ORGANIZATION

ASSIGNMENTS

DETERMINATION OF COURSE GRADE

INSTRUCTOR'S POLICIES

FIRST PAPER ASSIGNMENT

SECOND PAPER ASSIGNMENT

MIDTERM EXAM

FINAL EXAM

OVERVIEW OF COURSE

It is impossible to survey the Asian economies in both breadth and depth in a single semester's course -- difficult choices simply have to be made. Here they have been made on the basis of the course's primary objective, which is to provide a solid understanding of the factors that have made the Asian region the most dynamic in the world economy. The story is best told by focusing on seven East Asian economies that may together be considered to demonstrate the varied mixes of ingredients that can lead to rapid, successful economic development. These economies are also central to the story of the recent Asian crisis, which is examined in some depth in the course, both for its inherent interest and for the cautionary lessons that may be drawn from it. The choice of these countries also reflects what is readily available in the existing literature in terms of coherently structured teaching material suitable for students having only an Introductory Economics background.

The focal countries are Hong Kong (a unitary economy if not a country), Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. The emphasis is on understanding the logic underpinning their strategies of economic development; the issues dealt with are the "big picture" issues relating to development strategy. (The chosen texts reflect the extremes of responsible opinion regarding the East Asian experience.) Japan is largely excluded from consideration because of its atypically high level of economic development. India and China are dealt with only in passing; to do justice to either economy would require several week's attention. Insofar as each is attempting to follow in the footsteps of the focal countries -- as each indeed is to a significant degree, the course does convey a fair understanding of what is entailed in their development. Also dealt with only in passing are many Asian economies which have experienced disappointing economic performance. The causes of their problematic development should be apparent in general terms once the lessons of success are understood.

During the first week of the class students will be given an opportunity to express their views regarding the content of the course. The course can be changed within limits to provide some depth of understanding regarding a few other Asian economies, but not without a considerable loss in the depth of understanding of the seven East Asian countries which together have defined "the Asian route" to development success and have demonstrated its vulnerability to crisis.

Back to Index


REQUIRED TEXTS


EAM -- World Bank, The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy,1993; 389 pages.

EAD -- Y. Akyuz, ed., East Asian Development: New Perspectives,1999; 137 pages.

LEA -- D.M. Leipziger, Lessons from East Asia,1997; 576 pages.

EAC -- R.H. McLeod & R. Garnaut, East Asia in Crisis,1998; 380 pages.

TiT -- Jomo K.S., Tigers in Trouble,1999; 238 pages.

Note: The total cost to purchase all five texts is ~$180. Pairs or triples of students might therefore want to coordinate their text purchases to share at least one text in common.

Back to Index


REFERENCE MATERIALS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Asian economies variously have recently been or are today developing economies. Students who have not previously studied economic development may accordingly want from time to time to consult a development textbook. Recommended are Gillis, Perkins, Roemer, & Snodgrass, Economics of Development,4th ed., 1996, or Todaro, Economic Development,7th ed., 1997. The editions indicated are the most recent editions; earlier editions will suffice. Materials shelved on the Econ. 181 Honors seminar in Economic Development shelf may also be of relevance.

Back to Index


COURSE ORGANIZATION

Except for the first and last weeks, Tuesdays will be devoted to class discussion of the readings and Thursdays to lectures which will cover material not present (either at all or in sufficient detail) in the readings. The first week will be devoted entirely to lecture; the last week, to class discussion. As may be inferred from the determination of one's course grade, students are expected to be well prepared, having done the prior week's reading, for the Tuesday discussion sessions. Students are wholeheartedly encouraged to use these sessions to seek clarification of anything in the previous week's reading.

As the course is currently constituted, there will be no long paper regarding the development of a particular country. Instead, there will be two short papers (each of 1,500 words, maximum) based on the course texts. There will also be a one hour mid-term and a three hour final. The latter will include a short-paper-type question on the final two texts that will be announced in advance, worth half of the final exam grade, plus various questions not previously announced (like the midterm).

Back to Index


ASSIGNMENTS

Weeks 1 through 3:

Read all of EAM omitting all appendices except appendix 3.1; ~293 pages.
Discussion of chapters will be in order by pairs -- 1 &2; 3 &4; 5 & 6 -- spaced over three weeks.

Week 4:

Read all of EAD; ~138 pages.

Week 5:

Read LEA, ch.s 1 & 4 (Hong Kong and Singapore); ~112 pages.
First Paper due Week 5, Thursday.

Week 6:

Read LEA, ch.s 2 & 3 (Taiwan and Korea); ~130 pages.

Week 7:

Prepare for midterm.
Midterm exam.

Week between: Spring break -- yes, we all deserve it!

Week 8:

LEA, Overview and ch.s 5 & 6 (Malaysia and Thailand); ~140 pages.

Week 9:

LEA, ch.s 7 & 8 (Indonesia and the Philippines), and ch. 11; ~122 pages.

Weeks 10 through 12:

All of EAC; ~366 pages.
Discussion of parts will be in order by pairs -- I & II; III & IV; V and VI -- spaced over three weeks.
Second paper due Week 10, Thursday.

Weeks 13 and 14:

All of TiT; ~238 pages.
Discussion deals with ch.s 1-5 and 6-10 plus Afterward separately, during week 14.

Back to Index


DETERMINATION OF COURSE GRADE

Short paper assignments, each counts 15 %
Mid-term Exam 20 %
Final Exam 30 %
Class Participation 20 %

Back to Index


INSTRUCTOR'S POLICIES

Examinations: Students must take exams at the duly appointed times; a make-up exam will be given only in the case of a certified (by a Dean or Worth Health Center) medical excuse for having missed an exam.

Late assignments: Assignments are due at the beginning of class or at the time stated, as the case may be. Assignments turned in after the deadline will be marked down one "notch" (e.g., from A- to B+) per hour that they are late; an exception will be made only in the case of a certified (by a Dean or Worth Health Center) medical excuse.

On cheating and plagiarism: See the Student Handbook's statement regarding Academic Honesty. Cases of suspected plagiarism and cheating on exams will be reported to the Dean's Office for judicial action. In addition, the instructor has the automatic policy that any student whom he considers, on the basis of evidence available to him, to have engaged in plagiarism or cheating in any individually assigned work (i.e., in this course, exams and written report) will automatically receive No Credit for the course.

Back to Index


FIRST PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Its authors assert that EAD provides a distinct and superior interpretation of East Asian development in comparison with EAM. They claim to provide a different understanding of the centrally important dynamic forces that propelled rapid development, one that focuses on causes and linkages either not identified or insufficiently emphasized in EAM and that better represents crucial aspects of the reality of East Asian development. Moreover, they allege that their conception of the central growth dynamic provides a different perspective from which to comprehend the nature and role of various policies and institutions, one that is more usefully informative both generally and in thinking about differences among the East Asian economies.

Based on your reading of both EAM and EAD, you are to write a paper of no more than 1,500 words that evaluates these claims. Among the questions that you might wish to address: What does each (EAM, EAD) consider to be the central growth dynamic; are there any significant differences between EAD and EAM in regard to their view of the central growth dynamic? How does each relate key policies and institutions to their view of the central growth dynamic; are there any significant differences between them as to policies and institutions thought to be critical, or in regard their nature and role within and across countries? As alternatives or complements to the foregoing questions: Are the authors of EAD correct in thinking that it is both possible and useful to understand East Asian development in terms of a central growth dynamic? Does EAM articulate a central growth dynamic, or does it implicitly see such a notion as being overly simplistic; if so, with what does EAM replace it? How then does the comprehension of the role and nature of policies and institutions in each (EAM, EAD) differ in significant respects, if any?

There are no necessarily right or wrong answers to any of the foregoing questions or to any others that might be pertinent to evaluating EAD's claims. The questions you address and the answers you provide will be assessed, respectively, on the basis of their pertinence and the arguments given in support of them. (Among other implications, it follows that you should not simply accept EAD's characterizations of EAM's understandings; you should develop your own characterizations.)

Your paper is due Thursday, Feb 17; at beginning of class, when EAD and its differences vis-a-vis EAM will be the subject of class discussion. It is preferred, if possible, that you use Times New Roman, 11 point font. You must include a word count, indicating the length of your paper measured in the number of words it contains, in the top right corner of the first page, where it can easily be seen. Specific citations -- of the form (XXX, nn); XXX = EAD or EAM, nn = page number -- are required whenever reference is being made to information, statements, or arguments from specific parts of either book. You are free to consult other published sources if you wish, but only if you list them as references and cite them as appropriate where relying on them.

You are NOT to discuss this assignment with anyone else, either in or not in the class. Your paper is to be the product of your own reading and thinking without discussion with others. Thus, for example, you are not to discuss the EAD reading with anyone until you and they have handed in the assignment. (There will be no class discussion of the EAD reading until the day the assignment is due.) There is but one exception to this: you may seek WA (only) assistance with respect to matters of presentation, style, and the like. Any violation of these terms will be considered cheating.

Back to Index


SECOND PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Based on your reading of Lessons from East Asia,but also drawing -- to the degree you wish and find useful -- on the other two assigned books so far read, you are to write a paper of no more than 1,500 words that compares and contrasts the post-1960 development experience of three countries. For the three countries, select one from each of the following three groups: Hong Kong and Singapore; Korea and Taiwan; Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

In writing your paper: You should focus on those things that you consider to be most important in terms of development performance across the three countries, being sure to indicate -- briefly, of course -- why you consider those particular things to be especially significant. You should pay attention both to key similarities and pronounced differences among the three countries. Likewise, your discussion should include both strategies / policies and accomplishments / outcomes, commenting on linkages between former and latter where appropriate. In turn, you should also discuss -- even speculate about, if appropriate -- how policies and/or outcomes relate to similarities and/or differences among the countries in terms of their "initial conditions," peculiar factor endowments, and other such "givens" determined historically or otherwise. More generally, a good paper will attempt to answer the broad question, "What can be learned about effective development from the experience of these countries; are the details of effective development dependent upon country "givens" -- if so, how so?"

Your paper is due Thursday, Week 10, at beginning of class, when some class-time will be devoted to discussing your conclusions. It is preferred, if possible, that you use Times New Roman, 11 point font. You must include a word count, indicating the length of your paper measured in the number of words it contains, in the top right corner of the first page, where it can easily be seen. Specific citations -- of the form (XXX, nn); XXX = LEA, EAD, or EAM, nn = page number -- are required whenever reference is being made to information, statements, or arguments from specific parts of the assigned books. You are free to consult other published sources if you wish, but only if you list them as references and cite them as appropriate where relying on them.

With the exception of the class discussion on Thursday, Week 9, you are NOT to discuss this assignment with anyone else, either in or not in the class. Your paper is to be the product of your own reading and thinking without, apart from the exception noted, discussion with others. There is but one additional exception to this: you may seek WA (only) assistance with respect to matters of presentation, style, and the like. Any violation of these terms will be considered cheating.

Back to Index


MIDTERM EXAM, March 2, 2000

You have 75 minutes for the exam. Answer questions as indicated below.

Part I -- Short-answer questions.

1. (9 points per answer; spend ~6 minutes on each) Answer, briefly!, for any three of the four elements below: How did the HPAEs' performance / achievements (from the 1960s up to the Asian crisis) differ in general terms from that / those of developing economies elsewhere in the world? What factors appear to explain the difference? How did the difference contribute, either directly or indirectly, to the HPAEs' superior overall development performance?

Agricultural development

Human capital formation

Productivity growth

Wage and employment growth

2. (6 points per answer; spend ~4 minutes on each) For any three of the six terms / concepts below, briefly! give a definition / explanation and indicate its significance in the context of East Asian development.

Conditional convergence

Deliberation councils

Financial repression

Profit-investment-export nexus

Static versus dynamic comparative advantage

Selective intervention

3. (8 points per answer; spend ~5 minutes on each) For two terms / concepts -- like those appearing in question 2 above, that were not obviously present, either explicitly or implicitly, in any of the questions on the study guide -- that you consider to be of importance in relation to East Asian development: provide the term / concept, then briefly! give a definition / explanation and justify your choice in terms of its significance in the context of East Asian development.

Part II -- Essay, longer-answer questions.

1. (14 points; spend ~ 10 minutes) On the basis of your reading in Leipziger, et al., discuss two significant ways in which EITHER Hong Kong and Singapore OR Korea and Taiwan differ from one another; be sure to justify each of your choices in terms of its significance in relation to other aspects of the two economies' respective development paths.

2. (25 points; spend ~ 18 minutes) Answer either one of the two essay questions below.

a. What are the elements of "macroeconomic stability;" why are they, individually and collectively, important for achieving economic development?

b. Why is an effective bureaucracy (includes technocrats) important for achieving efficacious economic development, or is it? What are the key features of an effective bureaucracy? How did the HPAEs manage to acquire effective bureaucracies?

Back to Index


FINAL EXAM, May 8, 2000

You have two and a half hours (or, 150 minutes) to take the exam. Answer questions as indicated below.

Part I -- Short-answer questions.

1. (6 points per answer; spend ~ 5 minutes on each) For any five terms / concepts below, briefly give a definition / explanation. If answers are given for more than five items, only the first five answers in order will be graded.

Currency board

Capital-assets ratio

Industrial (or industrialization) strategy

Performance criteria

Pragmatic flexibility

Real exchange rate

Technological capabilities

Two gap model

2. (12 points per answer; spend ~ 9 minutes on each) For any five terms / concepts below, briefly give a definition / explanation and indicate its significance in the context of East Asian development. If answers are given for more than five items, only the first five answers in order will be graded.

Direct foreign investment

Discriminatory pricing

Export targeting

Flying geese paradigm (or model)

Globalization

Political development

Retarded institutional development

Technological development


Part II -- Essay, longer-answer questions.

1. (30 points; spend ~ 20 minutes) List -- in ranked order, by their importance cum significance, from most to least -- the various factors implicated as having had a causal role in the East Asian Crisis, and briefly defend your ranking. Be sure that you say (just) enough about each factor so that you've clearly identified it.

2. (30 points; spend ~ 20 minutes) What -- in general terms -- were the principal conditions "imposed" by the IMF in its programs to assist Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand (the countries taken collectively; not individually)? What would the optimal policy conditions have been? Briefly defend your choices of optimal policy conditions.

3. (50 points; spend ~ 40 minutes) What does the East Asian Crisis reveal about the East Asian Miracle? Does it imply that elements of the HPAEs' development were misunderstood or misperceived? How, if at all, does it affect the lessons for development elsewhere that can be drawn from East Asian experience?

 Back to Index


Back to Ec83 Home.


Page updated: 7/26/02