SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Economic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region

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Full Year

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a detailed study of economic trends and problems in the Asia Pacific Region.

Economic development, trade and foreign investment in the Asia Pacific region have advanced at rates unparalleled anywhere else in the world.  Interpreting these developments and assessing the implications of the recent downturn, poses a major challenge to economists.   A large literature is beginning to grow up dealing with this field of study.  In this course, students look at the shape of the region as a whole, and evaluate economic trends in the key elements within it.  Particular attention is paid to Japan as a model of development for the region and a key actor in the regional development process.  Topics covered include mechanisms of economic integration, macroeconomic policies and fluctuations, exchange rate policies, agricultural and industrial policies, and technology transfer and human resource development.

The basic qualification for this course is a good first degree in economics.

Please also see Economic Development of the Asia-Pacific Region 2 (15PECC031)

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Outline the economies of this region and evaluate the economic trends of the countries of the Asia Pacific region.
  • Show how the Japanese economy has played a key role in the development process in this region.
  • Evaluate the relative impact of policy making, such as for agriculture, industry, exchange rate, on the economy of this region.

Suggested reading

  • Ash, R. & Kueh, Y.Y. (eds), Economic Trends in Chinese Agriculture: The Impact of Post Mao Reforms, Clarendon, 1993, especially chapters by Ash, Sicular and Kojima (also published as The China Quarterly special issue, June 1989).
  • Barker, R., Herdt, R.W. & Rose, B., The Rice Economy of Asia, Washington: Resources for the Future, 1985.
  • David, P., “Rethinking Technology Transfers: Incentives, Institutions and Knowledge Based Industrial Development”, in Feinstein, C. & Howe, C., Chinese Technology Transfer in the 1990s, Elgar, 1997.
  • Freeman, C. & Soete, L., The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 2nd edition, Cassell, 1997.
  • Andrew Mason (editor) Population Change and Economic Development in East Asia Stanford University Press, 2001
  • Dieter Ernst, Tom Ganiatsos and Lynn Mytelka (Editors), Technological Capabilities and Export Success in Asia, London, Routledge, 1998


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