Chapter 1: Post-1990s’ East Asian Economic Growth
* Danny Quah INTRODUCTION 1.1 Since 1960, East and Southeast Asia (or, succinctly, ESE Asia) more than doubled its share of world gross domestic product (GDP) and increased per capita income at an average growth rate almost two and a half times that in the rest of the world.1 By 2006, ESE Asia was producing 24 per cent of the world’s $38 trillion GDP, with per capita income 79 per cent of world average. At the same time, ESE Asia has recently been both a stabilizing influence on and a steady contributor to world economic growth. In 1991, at the end of a sustained period of productivity slowdown in the US, GDP in ESE Asia increased by nearly 20 times the size of the decline in US GDP. In 2001, the end of the dotcom boom, ESE Asia’s GDP grew by double the growth in US GDP. Outside of these extreme events as well, ESE Asia’s contribution to world economic growth has been strengthening. Over 1992–2000, growth in ESE Asia’s GDP was 63 per cent that of the US; by 2002–06, that ratio had risen to 112 per cent. In 2006, China’s GDP growth alone was 64 per cent that of the US, even with China’s GDP still less than one-fifth the US’s. In no more than plain arithmetic, ESE Asia has recently contributed more steadily and in greater quantity to world economic growth than has the US. A still very poor China – having per capita income only 4...
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