How Asia Works by Joe Studwell
Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region

76%

5 Critic Reviews

Studwell’s thesis is bold, his arguments persuasive, and his style pugnacious. It adds up to a highly readable and important book...
-Financial Times

Synopsis

In the 1980s and 1990s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle. Japan was going to dominate, then China. Countries were called “tigers” or “mini-dragons,” and were seen as not just development prodigies, but as a unified bloc, culturally and economically similar, and inexorably on the rise.

Joe Studwell has spent two decades as a reporter in the region, and The Financial Times said he “should be named chief myth-buster for Asian business.” In How Asia Works, Studwell distills his extensive research into the economies of nine countries—Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China—into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.

Studwell’s in-depth analysis focuses on three main areas: land policy, manufacturing, and finance. Land reform has been essential to the success of Asian economies, giving a kick start to development by utilizing a large workforce and providing capital for growth. With manufacturing, industrial development alone is not sufficient, Studwell argues. Instead, countries need “export discipline,” a government that forces companies to compete on the global scale. And in finance, effective regulation is essential for fostering, and sustaining growth. To explore all of these subjects, Studwell journeys far and wide, drawing on fascinating examples from a Philippine sugar baron’s stifling of reform to the explosive growth at a Korean steel mill.

Thoroughly researched and impressive in scope, How Asia Works is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of these dynamic countries, a region that will shape the future of the world.
 

About Joe Studwell

See more books from this Author
Joe Studwell is the founding editor of the China Economic Quarterly. A freelance journalist in Asia for over twenty years, he has also written for the Economist Intelligence Unit, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Asian Wall Street Journal and the The Far Eastern Economic Review. He is the author of The China Dream and Asian Godfathers.
 
Published July 2, 2013 by Grove Press. 402 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Professional & Technical, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for How Asia Works
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 18 2013

A solid blend of the descriptive and the prescriptive, with plenty of lessons that will be of interest to Asia hands, investors and policymakers.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

Readers will find Studwell’s informative and balanced report eye-opening.

Read Full Review of How Asia Works: Success and F... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by JOSEPH STERNBERG on Jul 02 2013

...the policies Mr. Studwell commends have been far costlier than he admits. He glosses over the hundreds of thousands or even millions of Chinese who died as a result of pre-Great Leap Forward land redistribution.

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Financial Times

Excellent
Reviewed by David Pilling on Apr 05 2013

Studwell’s thesis is bold, his arguments persuasive, and his style pugnacious. It adds up to a highly readable and important book...

Read Full Review of How Asia Works: Success and F... | See more reviews from Financial Times

The Economist

Good
on Jul 13 2013

The most impressive part of the book is the 68 pages of footnotes in which Mr Studwell dips into his trove of reading and reporting.

Read Full Review of How Asia Works: Success and F... | See more reviews from The Economist

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Vish

Vish 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to custom list 'BOOKS TO READ IN 2013'

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