The Evolution of Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific
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The Evolution of Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific

Akhand Akhtar Hossain

This book of case studies is a contribution to monetary macroeconomics in which country-specific experience and issues in inflation and monetary policy are reviewed and analysed in an historical context. In doing so, the key ideas and views on the sources and dynamics of inflation and monetary-policy behaviour are investigated after taking into account institutional arrangements for the conduct of fiscal and monetary policies. This book selects for study twelve diverse countries from the Asia-Pacific region including the US, China, Australia, India, Japan, Hong Kong SAR (China), South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and New Zealand.
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Chapter 12: Thailand

Akhand Akhtar Hossain

Extract

Thailand has one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, second only to that of Indonesia. The Thai population numbers about 64 million. Thailand is the location of one of humanity’s earliest civilizations. In the present day, it is a multi-ethnic society. About 75 per cent of Thai people are ethnically Thai, 14 per cent are Chinese, 3 per cent are Malay and the remainder have other ethnic origins. About 95 per cent of Thai people are Buddhist. Some southern states of Thailand are inhabited by Malay Muslims. The Thai culture has been influenced heavily both by Indian and Chinese culture and tradition. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. Absolute monarchy ended in 1932 following a bloodless revolution. A unique political feature of Thai history is that it is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not colonized by any European nation. Consequently, Thailand has inherited long-established political institutions compatible with its long history and associated culture and traditions. Nevertheless, Thailand has undergone a series of political upheavals since the 1940s. While other countries in the region have established democratic institutions, Thailand’s democratic experimentation has so far failed to establish a durable political structure and culture to complement its steady economic progress and rising political clout in the region.

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