How Asia works

How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region by Joe Studwell is the book on development I want to read. Meanwhile in my bubble everybody is reading it and so here is Scott Alexander reviewing it https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/book-review-how-asia-works

and here Noah Smith doing some critics to it “What Studwell got wrong “https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/what-studwell-got-wrong”

Studwell book is good because it has a 3-step concise, no-bullshit, recipe to develop past the middle income trap:

land reform

promote export

Control finance

Pretty much what would be anatema to IMF and World Bank, not requiring full democracy, rather working well under autocracy, but in the end economis and countries should open up to mjeet the gorwing challenges of an advanced economy

I have been wondering wether this recipe could work for Africa, I will keep an eye on the issue. By chance I ran into this blog post on the divergence in the tropics between some east asina and some west african countries, which in the end boild down to high food prices, which keep high industrial salaries and sitlfe growth. Also, in the flying geese model, asia had Japan, Africa has no seed investments from a contiguous mature country

Food Prices and the Little Divergence https://tomwestland.com/2021/06/08/food-prices-and-the-little-divergence/

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