The East Asian experience : the poverty of "picking winners"
Date of Issue2005
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Many leaders in Africa argue that East Asia's success in economic growth and development is due to special prowess in "picking winners". That is, the state is assumed to have adequately identified future growth areas and effectively channeled investments into specific firms or industries. We argue, however, that this assessment is not accurate. Even where states have attempted to follow this path, they have frequently had a hash of it. The wrong sectors or firms have been identified. Public monies have been squandered or siphoned off for private enrichment. Instead, the successful East Asian states have focused their attention on consistently creating competitive market environments. They have invested in the hard and soft infrastrucure (like road, ports, and education) neccessary for success in an increasingly globalized economy. It is these types of policies that currently hold out the greatest prospects for growth in Africa.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Economic development::East Asia
RSIS Working Papers ; 094/05
Nanyang Technological University