Fresh thinking on growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Seminar: Lucky Countries? Internal and External Sources of Southeast Asian Growth

Event | 26 June 2013 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


ADBI's Seminar Series brings eminent persons to ADBI to encourage debate among policymakers, researchers, academics, think tanks, and other audiences interested in economic development challenges in Asia, the Pacific and Europe.


For several decades, the economies of Southeast Asia have experienced average per capita GDP growth rates second only to the People's Republic of China (PRC), and much higher than any other major world region. This seminar will examine the sources of this growth and whether Southeast Asian economies share a common growth path with the rest of the developing world. The two prominent features of virtually every Asian regional growth narrative are openness to international trade and factor flows, and spillovers from growth booms in large regional economies like Japan and the PRC—which have not received adequate attention in quantitative growth analyses founded on the closed-economy Solow model.

Rapid income growth in Japan in the 1980s and in the PRC in the 1990s and 2000s had significant spillover effects, and these effects were much larger in Southeast Asia than in other developing areas. But within the region, growth outcomes have also been differentiated by the degree of openness to international trade and factor flows. Thus, while the good luck of geographic proximity to booming Northeast Asian economies has been important, good policies also matter.

Ian Coxhead is professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a former director of that university's Center for Southeast Asian Studies and PhD Program in Development Studies. He is a specialist in economic growth and development, international trade, agricultural development, labor markets and the analysis of income distribution, with regional concentration on the emerging economies of Southeast and East Asia. At Wisconsin he teaches development economics at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has lived, taught, and conducted extended field research in the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

He has been published in a wide range of development-related journals, including World Development, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Development Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, and The World Economy. He is the coauthor, with Sisira Jayasuriya, of The Open Economy and the Environment: Development, Trade, and Resources in Asia (Edward Elgar 2003), and is editor of the Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics, to be published in 2013.

Professor Coxhead has a PhD in economics from Australian National University. He has been a visiting professor at Thammasat University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Hanoi University of Agriculture, Australian National University, and the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Osaka University.


Policymakers, academics and the general public.