Asia's Middle-Income Challenge: An Overview

27 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2018

See all articles by Gemma Bolotaulo Estrada

Gemma Bolotaulo Estrada

Asian Development Bank - Economic Research

Xuehui Han

Donghyun Park

Asian Development Bank - Economic Research

Grace Tian

Asian Development Bank

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Developing Asia has undergone a dramatic shift over the past 5 decades from a region of mainly low-income economies toward one that is largely middle income. Compared with world aggregate data, developing Asia now has a much greater proportion of middle-income economies. The region faces the challenge of sustaining rapid growth after graduating from low to middle income, and moving further to high income. Evidence shows that it takes longer for economies to move from upper-middle to high income than shifting from lower-middle to upper-middle income. Still, developing Asian economies were able to shift more quickly than the rest of the world, whether the transition is from lower-middle to upper-middle income or from upper-middle to high income. The experience of newly industrializing economies shows that innovation, human capital, and infrastructure all played a vital role in their quicker transformation from middle to high income.

Keywords: Asia, economic growth, middle income

JEL Classification: 010, 011

Suggested Citation

Estrada, Gemma Bolotaulo and Han, Xuehui and Park, Donghyun and Tian, Shu, Asia's Middle-Income Challenge: An Overview (November 2017). ADBI Working Paper 525, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3187905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3187905

Gemma Bolotaulo Estrada

Asian Development Bank - Economic Research ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

Donghyun Park (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank - Economic Research ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

Shu Tian

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

No contact information is available for Xuehui Han

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