China needs to get the integration ball moving

Residents visit a street market in Gujiao in northern China's Shanxi province. From coal country to the export-driven manufacturing heartland of China’s southeast, millions of people are enduring wrenching economic change. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Jan Fidrmuc, Brunel University

Despite China’s history of experimenting with new policies and the economic liberalisation since the late 1980s, China is still only a partially integrated economy. This has caused regional divergence and inequality. Read more…

Competition the true marker of Xi Jinping’s economic reforms

Men work on a construction site in Beijing. Xi’s economic reform program has focused on increasing competition not privatisation. (Photo: Ding Zhou, flickr).

Author: James Laurenceson, UTS

The usual assessment of Xi Jinping’s performance as China’s leader goes like this: since taking the reins at the end of 2012 he’s over-delivered on anticorruption and underwhelmed on economic reform. Read more…

The mixed blessing of Asia’s growing middle class

Queuing up at a Surabaya supermarket. Some analysts define the middle class as being made up of people who are ‘no longer poor’. (Photo: Chris Stowers, Panos Pictures).

Author: Adrian C. Hayes, ANU

Everybody seems excited about the rise of a new, global middle class — especially in Asia. A report from Deutsche Bank states that ‘the burgeoning of Asia’s middle class makes it an important consumer market, an engine of economic growth in the region, and an important global political force’. Read more…

Creating architecture to sustain Asia’s spectacular progress

The Asian Development Bank's Manila Headquarters. In the early stages of Asian integration governments relied mainly on global institutions and on unilateral dismantling of border barriers. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Wendy Dobson, University of Toronto

Economic institutions, international and national, are key factors in Asian development strategies. Those economies which have exhausted the growth gained from the traditional mobilisation of capital and labour are now reforming the supply-side institutions that encourage new sources of growth from innovation and productivity. Read more…

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on? Read more…

Narendra Modi and the future of Indian politics

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally for his Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Delhi state election in New Delhi on 4 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amitabh Mattoo, University of Melbourne

When India opted for constitutional democracy in 1947, few gave it much of a chance. India’s diversity was overwhelming and it was home to some of the world’s poorest. But India’s democracy has succeeded beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic and faired far better than that of similarly placed countries. Read more…

Revitalising sluggish FDI in Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a meeting of Cabinet ministers in charge of the government's monthly economic report in Tokyo on 19 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shujiro Urata, Waseda University

Japan’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) is extremely low compared with that of other developed countries and even its Asian neighbours.

In 2013, the ratio of Japan’s inward FDI stock to its GDP was 3.5 per cent, the lowest among developed countries and far below the global average of 34.1 per cent. The US and Germany for instance have ratios seven to eight times higher than Japan, while China and South Korea have ratios three to four times that of Japan’s. Read more…