Economic development in the Asia Pacific region

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

This course provides an introduction to the post-1950 evolution of the main economies of the Asia-Pacific region (comprising Northeast and Southeast Asia). It looks at macroeconomic issues, with a particular focus on growth, trade and investment flows, and fluctuations in economic indicators since the middle of the 1990s. The first part of the course looks at broad regional trends, including trends in industrialisation and development; the emergence of the regional trade-production network; the causes and effects of the Asian financial crisis and the policy measures taken since then; the 'middle income trap'; and environmental challenges to economic growth. The remainder of the course looks in more detail at Japan's bubble economy of the 1980s which as followed by 'lost decades' and the country's ongoing struggle with stagnation and deflation; China's economic transformation and opening up and current challenges in adjusting to the 'new normal', as well as at ASEAN's economic integration process which is progressing with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community.  Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Upon successfully completing this course you will have:

  • an understanding of the growth patters and macro-dynamics of the Asian-Pacific economies since c. 1950;
  • an ability to apply relevant economic theories and concepts in explaining these trends and fluctuations;
  • insights into major economic policy challenges facing the Asian-Pacific economies and an ability to discuss and design adequate policy responses.


Method of assessment

AS1 - 15% / AS2 - 50% / PR1 - 35%

Suggested reading

  • ADBI 920140. ASEAN 2030. Towards a Borderless Economic Community, Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.
  • Aoki, M., H.-K. Kim and M. Okuno-Fujiwara (1997): The Role of Government in East Asian Economic Development. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Bramall, C. (2009): Chinese Economic Development. London: Routledge.
  • Chang, H.-J. (2006): The East Asian Development Experience - The Miracle, the Crises, and the Future, London: Zed Books.
  • Flath, D. (2014): The Japanese Economy, Third Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gill, I. and H. Kharas (2007): An East Asian Renaissance: Ideas for Economic Growth, Washington, DC: The World Bank.
  • Perkins, D.H. (2013): East Asian Development. Foundations and Strategies, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Stiglitz, J.E. and S. Yussuf (eds., 2001): Rethinking the East Asian Miracle, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • World Bank (1993): The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules