The Economic Growth of East Asia and Latin America in Comparative Perspective: Lessons for development policy

Anthony Elson

Published: June 2006

This paper attempts to identify key factors that can account for the divergent economic performance of East Asia and Latin America during the second half of the 20th century. Within the triad of so-called “deep determinants” of economic growth (geography, policy and institutions), the paper argues that differences in policy and institutions are most important in accounting for this regional divergence. In contrast with East Asia, Latin America has exhibited continuing problems of macroeconomic instability and a much weaker degree of integration into the global economy. In addition, there are marked institutional differences between the two regions, with East Asia identified with stronger public institutions and indicators of government effectiveness.

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