NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia

John F. Helliwell

NBER Working Paper No. 5470
Issued in February 1996
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ITI

The paper reviews the growth performance of different groups of Asian economies, confirms the role of openness as a key factor explaining the growth differences among the Asian economies, and undertakes a preliminary investigation of the role of social capital and institutions. The role of openness in explaining growth differences among the Asian economies appears to be if anything greater than has been established in global samples. Various measures of social capital and institutional quality were not found to add explanatory power, perhaps because of the shortage of comparable data for the Asian economies. It is conjectured that the prospects are good for the technological catchup that has taken place in South-East Asia to be repeated elsewhere in Asia, and especially South Asia, partly in response to recent increases in openness. The role of social capital and institutions in facilitating this catchup remains to be established.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5470

Published: The Asia Pacific Region in the Global Economy: A Canadian Perspective, Harris, Richard G., ed., Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1996,pp. 21-42.

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