Thailand versus Japan: Why Was Japan First?

  • David Feeny
  • Ammar Siamwalla
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


There are a number of important parallels in the histories of Thailand and Japan during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.2 First, both countries signed treaties with the Western powers at approximately the same time.3 In part as a result, both economies became more open at approximately the same time, although the change was more abrupt in the case of Japan than in the Thai case.4 Second, both countries faced serious threats to their sovereignty from imperialist powers. Third, both countries underwent profound political change involving elite-directed ‘reform from the top’.5 Fourth, both were successful in avoiding colonization. Fifth, both countries shared pragmatic traditions of selective borrowing of foreign ideas and technologies.


Economic History Community Norm Crude Death Rate Economic Organization Constitutional Order 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Feeny
    • 1
  • Ammar Siamwalla
    • 2
  1. 1.Mcmaster UniversityCanada
  2. 2.Thailand Development InstituteThailand

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