Economic development and how it should be done gets people worked up. In Asia and the Third World people are affected by their experiences under colonialism and during the Cold War. In the West as well people then to think in terms of Left Wing and Right Wing ideologies, not necessarily in terms of what works.


One puzzle of the 20th Century was how the nations along the Asian Pacific coast modernised and developed into advanced industrial economies, while other countries that were in the Third World during the middle of the 20th Century are still in the Third World now. Japan modernised gradually from the 19th Century onwards but countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore modernised in roughly fifty years and some of these nations modernised fast despite having few natural resources to help in economic development. Some of these Pacific rim nations developed under free market conditions while others developed with large scale state intervention so there is no clear evidence that either free markets or state control are better for Pacific rim nations.

See alsoEdit


  1. Steve Chan, Cal Clark and Danny Lam (eds.), Beyond the developmental state : East Asia's political economies reconsidered (Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1998)
  2. Benjamin Powell, “State Development Planning: Did it Create an East Asian Miracle?” Independent Institute Working Paper Number 54 (September 28, 2004)
  3. F. Fukuyama, Trust : the social virtues and the creation of prosperity (London : Penguin, 1996)
  4. Lee Kuan-Yew, “From Third World to first : the Singapore story, 1965-2000 : Singapore and the Asian economic boom” (New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2000)

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