Course Details

Course Number: 90-752

The Rise of the Asian Economies

Units: 12

For most of the past 40 years no region of the world has been more economically dynamic than Asia. The region’s economic growth has transformed the patterns of world trade, lifted hundreds of millions of human beings out of absolute poverty, and so captivated the attention of Western economists and business leaders that it was commonplace by the early 1990s to refer to economic achievements of these countries as the “East Asian miracle.” For many of the region's nations this miracle came to an abrupt halt with the onset of the Asian financial crisis in the summer of 1997. This period of turbulence exposed several critical economic weaknesses in the region, many of them related to distortions and limitations in regional financial markets. Growth recovered in the 2000s but the global financial crisis of 2008 had a significant impact on the region. Despite these economic problems the People's Republic of China has continued to sustain very high economic growth rates. But China’s recent stock market crash and slowing industrial production have cast doubt on the sustainability of China’s economic miracle. Over the past two decades Indian economic growth has accelerated and now many commentators consider it likely that India will emerge along with China as one of the three largest economies in the world in coming decades. Will rapid growth continue in China and India? What does this mean for the rest of the world? And what lessons can other developing countries take away from Asia’s experience? This course explores all these important questions, providing a valuable perspective on economic growth in the world’s most dynamic region.

Learning Objectives:

This course is designed to provide future business leaders and policymakers with the essential knowledge necessary to evaluate economic opportunities and risks in Asia. The course will use analytical tools drawn from several fields of economics and finance, business cases, and guest lectures by outside experts to focus on the key strengths that sustained economic growth in Asia for decades, the weaknesses that undermined that growth in the late 1990s, and what lies ahead. Considerable attention will be paid to recent developments in India and China and the prospects for continued growth in these economies over the next decade.

Students should emerge from this course with a well-developed understanding of the roots of Asian economic success, the current situation in the region, and likely economic scenarios for the short to medium run future. More importantly, students will acquire a 3 set of conceptual and analytical tools that they can use to understand the impact and significance of future developments in the region.


Lee Branstetter