Four Asian Tigers

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Four Asian Tigers
Four Asian Tigers.svg
A map showing the Four Asian Tigers
 Hong Kong  Singapore
 South Korea  Taiwan
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese亞洲四小龍
Simplified Chinese亚洲四小龙
Literal meaningAsia's Four Little Dragons
Korean name
Hangul아시아의 네 마리 용
Literal meaningAsia's four dragons
 
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Four Asian Tigers
Four Asian Tigers.svg
A map showing the Four Asian Tigers
 Hong Kong  Singapore
 South Korea  Taiwan
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese亞洲四小龍
Simplified Chinese亚洲四小龙
Literal meaningAsia's Four Little Dragons
Korean name
Hangul아시아의 네 마리 용
Literal meaningAsia's four dragons

The Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons is a term used in reference to the highly free and developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. These nations and areas were notable for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates (in excess of 7 percent a year) and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s. By the 21st century, all four had developed into advanced and high-income economies, specializing in areas of competitive advantage. For example, Hong Kong and Singapore have become world-leading international financial centers, whereas South Korea and Taiwan are world leaders in manufacturing information technology. Their economic success stories have served as role models for many developing countries,[1][2][3] especially the Tiger Cub Economies.

Despite a World Bank report crediting neoliberal policies with the responsibility for the boom, including maintenance of export-led regimes, low taxes and minimal welfare states, institutional analysis also states some state intervention was involved.[4] The World Bank report acknowledged benefits from policies of the repression of the financial sector, such as state-imposed below-market interest rates for loans to specific exporting industries. However, it also pointed out free trade and less government spending were the driving force. As a result these economies enjoyed extremely high growth rates sustained over decades. Other important aspects include major government investments in education, non-democratic and relatively authoritarian political systems during the early years of development, high levels of U.S. bond holdings, and high public and private savings rates.[5] However this is highly debated, and many have argued that Industrial Policy had a much greater influence than the World Bank report suggested [6]

A period of liberalization did occur, and the first major setback experienced by the Tiger economies was the 1997 Asian financial crisis. While Singapore and Taiwan were relatively unscathed, Hong Kong came under intense speculative attacks against its stock market and currency necessitating unprecedented market interventions by the state Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and South Korea underwent a major stock market crash brought on by high levels of non-performing corporate loans. As a result and in the years after the crisis, all four economies rebounded strongly. South Korea, the worst-hit of the Tigers, has managed to triple its per capita GDP in dollar terms since 1997.[citation needed]

Overview[edit]

Prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the growth of these four Asian tiger economies (commonly referred to as, ‘The Asian Miracle’) has been attributed to export oriented policies and strong development policies. Unique to these economies were the sustained rapid growth and high levels of equal income distribution. A World Bank report[7] suggests two development policies among others as sources for the Asian miracle: factor accumulation and macroeconomic management.

By the 1960s,levels in physical and human capital amongst the four countries far exceeded other countries at similar levels of development. This subsequently led to a rapid growth in per capita income levels. While high investments were essential to the economic growth of these countries, the role of human capital was also important. Education in particular is cited as playing a major role in the Asian miracle. The levels of education enrollment in the four Asian tigers were higher than predicted given their level of income. By 1965, all four nations had achieved universal primary education.[8] South Korea in particular had achieved a secondary education enrollment rate of 88% by 1987.[8] There was also a notable decrease in the gap between male and female enrollments during the Asian miracle. Overall these progresses in education allowed for high levels of literacy and cognitive skills.

The creation of stable macroeconomic environments was the foundation upon which the Asian miracle was built. Each of the four Asian tiger states managed, to various degrees of success, three variables in: budget deficits, external debt and exchange rates. Each tiger nation’s budget deficits were kept within the limits of their financial limits, as to not destabilize the macro-economy. South Korea in particular had deficits lower than the OECD average in the 1980s. External debt was non-existent for Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, as they did not borrow from abroad.[9] While South Korea was the exception to this as their debt levels during 1980-1985 was quite high compared to their GNP ratios, it was sustained by the country’s high levels of export. Exchange rates in the four Asian tiger nations had been changed from long-term fixed rate regimes to fixed-but-adjustable rate regimes with the occasional steep devaluation of managed floating rate regimes.[9] This active exchange rate management allowed the 4 tiger economies to avoid exchange rate appreciation and maintain a stable real exchange rate.

Export policies have been the de facto reason for the rise of these four Asian tiger economies. The approach taken has been different among the four nations. Hong Kong, and Singapore introduced trade regimes that were neoliberal in nature and encouraged free trade, while South Korea and Taiwan adopted mixed regimes that accommodated their own export industries. In Hong Kong and Singapore, due to small domestic markets, domestic prices were linked to international prices. South Korea and Taiwan introduced export incentives for the traded-goods sector. The governments of Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan also worked to promote specific exporting industries, which were termed as an export push strategy. All these policies helped these four nations to achieve a growth averaging 7.5% each year for three decades and as such they achieved developed country status.[10]

1997 Asian Crisis[edit]

The 1997 Asian financial crisis had an impact on all of the four Asian tiger economies. South Korea was hit the hardest as its foreign debt burdens swelled resulting in its currency falling between 35-50%.[11] By the beginning of 1997, the stock market in Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea also saw losses of at least 60% in dollar terms. However, four Asian tiger nations recovered from the 1997 crisis faster than other countries due to various economic advantages including their high savings rate (except South Korea) and their openness to trade.[11]

2008 financial crisis[edit]

The export oriented economies of the four Asian tiger nations which benefited from American consumption, were hit hard by the financial crisis of 2007-2008. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the GDP of all four nations fell by an average annualized rate of around 15%.[12] Exports also fell by a 50% annualized rate.[13] Weak domestic demand also affected the recovery of these economies. In 2008, retail sales fell 3% in Hong Kong, 6% in Singapore and 11% in Taiwan.[13]

As the world recovers from the financial crisis, the four Asian tiger economies have also rebounded strongly. This is due in no small part to each country’s government fiscal stimulus measures. These fiscal packages accounted for more than 4% of each country's GDP in 2009.[14] Another reason for the strong bounce back is the modest corporate and household debt in these four nations.[14]

Cultural basis[edit]

The role of Confucianism has been used to explain the success of the Four Asian Tigers. This conclusion is similar to the Protestant work ethic theory promoted by German sociologist Max Weber in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. The culture of Confucianism is said to have been compatible with industrialization because it valued stability, hard work, and loyalty and respect towards authority figures.[15] There is a significant influence of Confucianism on the corporate and political institutions of the Asian Tigers. Confucianism was taught in Singaporean schools until the 1990s. Confucian seminars were offered by South Korean companies like Hyundai for company management. Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew advocated Asian values as an alternative to the influence of Western culture in Asia.[16] This theory was not without its critics. There was a lack of mainland Chinese economic success during the same time frame as the Four Tigers, and yet China was the birthplace of Confucianism. During the May Fourth Movement of 1919, Confucianism was blamed for China's inability to compete with Western powers.[15]

Territory and region data[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Country or
territory
Area km²PopulationPopulation density
per km²
Population of capital city
 Hong Kong1,1047,219,7006,5407,219,700
 Singapore7105,399,2007,6055,399,200
 South Korea100,21050,423,95550310,140,000
 Taiwan36,19323,386,8836462,688,140

Economy[edit]

Country or
territory
GDP nominal
millions of USD (2011)
GDP PPP
millions of USD (2011)
GDP nominal per capita
USD (2011)
GDP PPP per capita
USD (2011)
Trade
millions of USD (2011)
Exports
millions of USD (2011)
Imports
millions of USD (2011)
 Hong Kong246,941354,27234,04949,342944,800451,600493,200
 Singapore266,498314,96349,27059,936818,800432,100386,700
 South Korea1,163,8471,556,10223,74931,7531,084,000558,800525,200
 Taiwan504,612886,48921,59137,931623,700325,100298,600

Politics[edit]

Country or
territory
Democracy Index
(2012)
Property rights index
(2013)
Press Freedom Index
(2013)
Corruption Perceptions Index
(2012)
Current Political Status
 Hong Kong6.427.726.1677Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
 Singapore5.888.143.4387Parliamentary Republic
 South Korea8.136.424.4856Presidential Republic
 Taiwan7.577.223.8261Semi-Presidential Republic

Quality of Life[edit]

Country or
territory
Human Development Index
(2014)
Global Well Being Index
(2010), % thriving[17]
 Hong Kong0.891 (15th)19%
 Singapore0.901 (9th)19%
 South Korea0.891 (15th)28%
 Taiwan0.882 (2011, 22nd) [18]22%

Organizations and groups[edit]

Country or
territory
UNWTOOECDDACAPECADBSEACENG20EASASEAN
 Hong KongRed XNGreen tickYRed XNRed XNGreen tickYGreen tickYRed XNRed XNRed XNGreen tickY
 SingaporeGreen tickYGreen tickYRed XNRed XNGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYRed XNGreen tickYGreen tickY
 South KoreaGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickY (APT)
 TaiwanRed XNGreen tickYRed XNRed XNGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYRed XNRed XNRed XN

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Can Africa really learn from Korea?". Afrol News. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Korea role model for Latin America: Envoy". Korean Culture and Information Service. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ Leea, Jinyong; LaPlacab, Peter; Rassekh, Farhad (2 September 2008). "Korean economic growth and marketing practice progress: A role model for economic growth of developing countries". Industrial Marketing Management (Elsevier B.V. (subscription required)). doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2008.09.002. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ Derek Gregory, et al.; Ron Johnston; Geraldine Pratt; Michael J. Watts; Sarah Whatmore (2009). Derek Gregory, et al., ed. The Dictionary of Human Geography (5th ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell. p. 52, "Asian Miracle/tigers". ISBN 978-1-4051-3287-9. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "East Asian Tigers- Definition". WordIQ.com. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  6. ^ http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_East_Asian_Development_Experience.html?id=nSqXpDiQ4ggC&redir_esc=y
  7. ^ John Page (1994). "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy". In Stanley Fischer; Julio J. Rotemberg. NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) 9: 219–269 [225]. ISBN 9780262560801. 
  8. ^ a b John Page (1994). "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy". In Stanley Fischer; Julio J. Rotemberg. NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) 9: 219–269 [247]. ISBN 9780262560801. 
  9. ^ a b John Page (1994). "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy". In Stanley Fischer; Julio J. Rotemberg. NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) 9: 219–269 [239]. ISBN 9780262560801. 
  10. ^ Anonymous (2009). Troubled Tigers; Asian Economies (in English). London, US: The Economist Intelligence Unit. pp. 75–77. ISSN 0013-0613. 
  11. ^ a b Pam Woodall (1998). East Asian Economies: Tigers adrift (in English). London, US: The Economist Intelligence Unit. pp. S3–S5. ISSN 0013-0613. 
  12. ^ Anonymous; Stanley Fischer (2009). Julio J. Rotemberg, eds., ed. Troubled Tigers; Asian Economies (in English). London, US: The Economist Intelligence Unit. pp. 75-77 [76]. ISSN 0013-0613. 
  13. ^ a b Anonymous (2009). Troubled Tigers; Asian Economies (in English). London, US: The Economist Intelligence Unit. pp. 75-77 [76]. ISSN 0013-0613. 
  14. ^ a b Anonymous (2009). Crouching Tigers, stirring dragons; Asian Economies (in English). London, US: The Economist Intelligence Unit. ISSN 0013-0613. 
  15. ^ a b Lin, Justin Yifu (27 October 2011). Demystifying the Chinese Economy. Cambridge University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-521-19180-7. 
  16. ^ DuBois, Thomas David (25 April 2011). Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 227–228. ISBN 978-1-139-49946-0. 
  17. ^ http://www.gallup.com/file/poll/126965/GlobalWellbeing_Rpt_POLL_0310_lowres.pdf
  18. ^ "Statistical Bulletin conditions" (in Chinese). General Statistics Office, Taiwan. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 

John Page, "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy". The World Bank. National Bureau of Economic Research. Vol. 9. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994).

"Troubled Tigers; Asian Economies". The Economist. Vol.390. Issue 8616. (London, US:The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]