Economic Reform in Asia
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Economic Reform in Asia

China, India, and Japan

Sara Hsu

Economic Reform in Asia compares and analyzes the reform and development patterns of China, India, and Japan from both historical and developmental perspectives. Sara Hsu specifically focuses on China’s reform and opening-up in 1979, India’s accelerated liberalization in 1991, and the outset of the Meiji Restoration in Japan in 1878. This detailed overview of growth patterns in Asia’s largest economies is invaluable, especially in its determination to understand which development policies work, what role institutions play in development, and what issues may arise during said development.
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Chapter 5: Gradual growth: India’s development trajectory

Sara Hsu


As in Japan and China, India’s reform process was also influenced by geography and colonial history. India’s coastline has been a boon to development. A long history of British colonialism motivated many Indian leaders to reform. Colonialism gave rise to Mahatma Gandhi, who urged protest against British rule, and Gandhi in turn helped to shape the regimes that came thereafter. India is a country in South Asia, bordered by Pakistan in the north-west, and by Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and China in the north and north-east. Its lower portion is surrounded by oceans, with the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Bay of Bengal to the east. A large number of sea ports have allowed India to engage in largescale seafaring trade for centuries. About 95 percent of trade in goods is seaborne. By contrast to China and Japan, other elements of India’s geography, though positive, have resulted in a negative impact on growth. First, although about half the land is considered arable, many Indians remain small-scale farmers. Because the number of individuals employed in the agricultural sector is large in relation to the amount of output it produces, most of India’s farmers remain poor. Issues remain with agricultural pricing, research and development, and presence of rural infrastructure.

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