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Escaping the Squeeze: Lessons from East Asia on how Middle-income Countries can Grow Faster

  • Robert Hunter Wade

Abstract

Middle-income countries continue to be under pressure to further open their economies to free trade and investment, to privatize state-owned assets, deregulate entry and exit to sectors, and give no preference to domestic firms over foreign firms. The pressure comes from the global economic multilaterals (especially the WTO, IMF and the World Bank), and from the US government and the EU;1 and beyond ‘pressure’, the appropriateness of such moves is ‘in the air’ of the ‘international development community’, and an operating premise of the leading English-language opinion-makers like the Financial Times and The Economist. The consensus is justified by the claim that these policy shifts will lead to faster rates of investment and economic growth, and thence to faster rises in average living standards and faster falls in the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line. In so far as they are adopted by many countries, the benefits will spread synergistically.

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Firm Industrial Policy Outward Foreign Direct Investment Trade Regime 
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Notes

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    R.H. Wade, ‘What Strategies are Viable for Developing Countries Today? The WTO and the Shrinking of Development Space’, Review of International Political Economy, 10(4) (2003), 621–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Cited in R. Wade, ‘East Asia’s Economic Success: Conflicting Perspectives, Partial Insights, Shaky Evidence’, World Politics, 44 (January 1992), 270–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Robert Hunter Wade 2005

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  • Robert Hunter Wade

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