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Mr. Michael Sarel and Mr. Peter Wickham

’s results suggest a possible explanation for the east Asian miracle, they are not robust enough to rule out other possibilities. Furthermore, it is not clear what are the normative implications of these findings. For example, suppose that land equality is indeed very beneficial for economic growth. Does that mean that land redistribution is a good policy to promote growth? The answer, obviously, is: not necessarily. The redistribution itself may be extremely damaging, by having a negative impact on property rights, political stability, or other factors that may be

International Monetary Fund

. While Rodrik’s results suggest a possible explanation for the East Asian success, they are not robust enough to rule out other possibilities. Furthermore, it is not clear what the normative implications of these findings are. For example, suppose that land equality is indeed beneficial for economic growth. Does that mean that land redistribution is a good policy to promote growth? Not necessarily. The redistribution may be extremely damaging by weakening property rights or disrupting political stability, which are obviously essential to growth. Likewise, lowering

Mr. Michael Sarel
This paper examines the different arguments raised by the studies that addressed the East Asian growth experience. The original arguments presented in this paper are all on the negative side, highlighting problems associated with some of the possible explanations for the East Asian miracle. The paper concentrates mainly on four dimensions of the debate about the East Asian growth experience: (i) The nature of economic growth intensive or extensive?; (ii) The role of public policy and of selective interventions; (iii) The role of high investment rates and a strong export orientation as possible engines of growth; and (iv) The importance of the initial conditions and their relevance for policy.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The spectacular growth of many economies in East Asia over the past 30years has impressed the economics profession, which often refers to thesuccess of the so-called Four Tigers of the region (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China) as "miraculous." This papercritically reviews the reasons alleged for this extraordinary growth.It weighs arguments in the debate over factor accumulation versustechnical progress, the role of public policy, the contribution ofinvestments and exports, and the influence of initial conditions onsubsequent growth.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

only inequality among the landowners, the data would show a country that has perfect land equality. This is certainly at variance with common-sense conceptions of inequality. To address this, we construct what is probably the simplest measure possible. We don’t have information on the number of landless households, but we do have information on overall agricultural populations. So we take the size of the overall agricultural population and divide it by the number of landholdings. This improves substantially on the previous measure in that it does include the

ALEX MOURMOURAS and PETER RANGAZAS

– 1191 . 10.1162/003355302320935007 Galor , O. , and O. Moav , 2004 , “From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development,” Review of Economic Studies , Vol. 71 ( October ), pp. 1001 – 1026 . 10.1111/0034-6527.00312 Galor , O. , and O. Moav , and D. Vollrath , 2005 , “Land Equality and the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions,” Working Paper 2005–03 ( Providence, Rhode Island , Brown University ). Galor , O. , and O. Moav , and D. Vollrath , and D.N. Weil

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This is the first issue of IMF Staff Papers published under a special partnership between the IMF and Palgrave Macmillan. Very little will change with regard to the journal's visual appearance, though significant service quality enhancements (e.g., an on-line interactive edition) will rollout before the end of 2007. For more information and regular updates, please access http://www.palgrave-journals.com/imfsp/index.html.