Prosperity and Economic Development in Low Income Asian Countries
The Parallel World
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
In the re-emerging debate on de- growth, zero-growth, and sustainable growth, the focus has been placed on diminishing returns. That is, an increase in income does not guarantee an improvement in welfare. However, the other end of the diagram has rarely been explored. How is it that some countries are able to perform well in certain development indicators despite their low income?
This new volume explores the issues surrounding this question, and attempts to find an answer to it, through an empirical study of seven low income Asian countries; the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bhutan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The combination of interview result and data analysis emphasises the value of social capital and human capital in achieving a positive outcome. Preserving assets like family bonds, community ties, traditional skills and certain traditional values not only substitutes financial spending, but also generates or reinforces spiritual values. The findings demonstrate costs and benefits as well as conditions regarding how social capital and human capital replace physical capital in production enhancement and in welfare improvement.
Part I Probe in the Parallel World 1. Low Income ≠ Low Development 2. The Big Dipper: The Seven Studied Countries PART II Development without High Income? 3. Longevity: Live Long without Being Rich 4. Literacy: Wisdom without High Income 5. Life Satisfaction: Happy without Money 6. Employment: Structure of Life and Source of Income 7. Government Budget: Maintaining/Improving Welfare under Budget Cut PART III Conclusion: Resistance is Futile? A People-Centred Development Route
Chiung Chang is Associate Research Fellow in APEC Center for Typhoon and Society, ICIS, Maastricht University, The Netherlands