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Taiwan’s industrialisation: The rise of a demand-responsive economy

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Chapter Summary

How do economies become demand-responsive, and what empirically and theoretically does that mean? This chapter gives a detailed answer to this question showing how the Taiwanese economy developed in response to orders given by global retailers and brand name merchandisers. It first uses disaggregated trade data to demonstrate that the globalisation of supplier markets for U.S. based retailers and brand name merchandisers occurred first and most pervasively in East Asia, especially in Taiwan and South Korea, and to show the differential effects of these markets on structuring these Asian economies. Drawing on hundreds of interviews done over a period of over fifteen years, the chapter then shows how these supplier markets in Taiwan actually developed and how many suppliers, in turn, responded to changing economic conditions by moving their businesses to Mainland China.

Keywords: brand name merchandisers; demand-responsive economy; globalisation; Mainland China; South Korea; supplier markets; Taiwan



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