Research Handbooks in Corporate Law and Governance series
Edited by Jennifer G. Hill and Randall S. Thomas
Chapter 23: Multiple faces of shareholder power in Asia: complexity revealed
During the industrial revolution, the United Kingdom managed to double the size of its economy in a little over 50 years—an astonishing feat that marked the beginning of more than a century of the West’s domination of the world economy (Australian Government 2012). Even juxtaposed against this epoch-changing event, the last 50 years in Asia appears extraordinary. Starting in the 1950s, Japan engineered the first “economic growth miracle” in recorded human history: the Japanese economy doubled in size in under a decade (Spence 2011). Over the next 50 years, economic growth miracles sprung up throughout Asia, with many Asian economies repeating their growth miracles two or three times over. These sustained economic growth miracles rapidly transformed Asia’s four tiger economies (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan). These economies have now joined (and, in some cases, surpassed) Japan as among the most wealthy, sophisticated and efficient economies in the world. China and India have more recently engineered their own economic growth miracles, transforming themselves into potentially the world’s most important engines for economic growth (Australian Government 2012). The result: the West’s domination of the world economy is over. Asia’s tiger economies now appear at the top of global rankings in terms of per capita GDP and economic efficiency.
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