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NICHOLAS CRAFTS

The paper surveys the literature on the growth performance of the East Asian economies, evaluates the sustainability of that performance, and provides a preliminary assessment of their long-term growth prospects in the aftermath of the current crisis. It highlights special features of East Asian growth, including unusually high factor accumulation and a favorable demographic transition, but argues that total factor productivity growth has generally been somewhat disappointing. It argues that there are downside risks to the East Asian “developmental state” model, and that it may become less attractive as these economies mature.

JOHN PAGE

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Adriaan Verspoor

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund
The major objectives of the banking system reform are twofold: first, to continue to gradually open domestic banks to greater competition from foreign banks, and second, for Singapore banks to retain significant domestic market share in this more open environment as well as to become significant participants in the regional market. The authorities have clearly stated that they see the process of mergers and consolidation of the local banks as inevitable, but that they do not intend to force the process.
Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas and Mr. Olivier D Jeanne
Standard theoretical arguments tell us that countries with relatively little capital benefit from financial integration as foreign capital flows in and speeds up the process of income convergence. We show in a calibrated neoclassical model that conventionally measured welfare gains from this type of convergence appear relatively limited for developing countries. The welfare gain from switching from financial autarky to perfect capital mobility is roughly equivalent to a 1 percent permanent increase in domestic consumption for the typical non-OECD country. This is negligible relative to the welfare gain from a take-off in domestic productivity of the magnitude observed in some of these countries.
Mr. Lamin Y Leigh
With the emergence of the rapidly expanding literature on endogenous growth, the relationship between financial development and economic growth has received a new source of inspiration. Recent cointegration techniques that focus on the estimation and the identification of long-run economic relationship(s) between data variables are particularly appropriate to the study of long run endogenous growth models. This paper has applied these techniques to the Singapore data using a supply-side framework. By and large, the econometric analysis in this paper has yielded results that are in line with predictions of endogenous growth models. In particular, we find that financial development positively affects both transitional and long-run growth in Singapore.
Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Mr. Francesco Trebbi, and Mr. Dani Rodrik
We estimate the respective contributions of institutions, geography, and trade in determining cross-country income levels using recently developed instruments for institutions and trade. Our results indicate that the quality of institutions "trumps" everything else. Controlling for institutions, geography have at best weak direct effects on incomes, although it has a strong indirect effect through institutions. Similarly, controlling for institutions, trade has a negative, albeit, insignificant direct effect on income, although trade too has a positive effect on institutional quality. We relate our results to recent literature, and where differences exist, trace their origins to choices on samples, specification, and instrumentation.
Mr. Ian S McDonald, Serge Bésanger, and Ross Guest
This paper calculates the levels of optimal national saving, investment, and the current account balance for five Asian economies—Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines—for the period 1997–2050 using a simulation approach. These calculations show the sensitivity of results to changing demographic structures on employment participation, labor productivity; and consumption demands. In particular, the simulations reveal that variations in prospective demographic change across economies cause considerable variations in the patterns of optimal national saving rates.
Mr. N. F. R. Crafts
This paper surveys the literature on the growth performance of the east Asian economies in recent decades, evaluates the sustainability of that performance, and provides a preliminary assessment of their long-term growth prospects in the aftermath of the current crisis. It highlights three special aspects of east Asian growth: unusually high factor accumulation, a favorable demographic transition, and the impact of rapid growth on financial and other institutions. The paper argues that there are downside risks to the east Asian “developmental state” model, despite its favorable attributes, and that an alternative model may become more attractive as these economies mature.