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2. Diverging Paths: Explanations and Implications

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Chapter Summary

The two regions of the world which clearly exemplify the diverging paths to prosperity and poverty are Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Southeast Asia the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s saw sustained and accelerating economic growth. Southeast Asia, has outstripped Africa even in the export of traditional African agricultural products like palm oil, coffee, and cocoa. In analytical terms, selecting Southeast Asia as the unit of comparison helps to reduce the number of potential explanations for the observed developmental divergence. Southeast Asia's policy experience, as the World Bank's East Asian Miracle study already noted, is clearly more relevant than that of Northeast Asia to other developing countries, including those of Africa. The recent aggregate growth in Africa has caused the 'Afro-pessimism' of the 1990s to be replaced by a conviction that the Asian tiger economies are now being joined by a fast-developing group of 'African lions'.

Keywords: Northeast Asia; Southeast Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; World Bank

10.1163/9789004260009_003
/content/books/b9789004260009_003
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