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How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region

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Joe Studwell’s study of Asia’s economic growth story offers a three-step recipe for development: increase agricultural output through household farming; boost manufacturing using protectionism tempered by export discipline; and control financial institutions so they sustain and propel the first two steps. The book breaks from existing development orthodoxy in two major respects. First, in advocating for the protracted use of protectionist industrial policy alongside regulation and control of the financial system, the book stands opposed to the standard “Washington consensus” prescriptions of freer trade and financial deregulation. Second, by offering a package of policies that can supposedly be applied continent-wide, Studwell departs from contemporary skepticism about ‘one-size-fits-all’ recommendations.

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