On the Tyranny of Numbers: East Asian Miracles in World Perspective

15 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2006

See all articles by Pedro C. Ferreira

Pedro C. Ferreira

Graduate School of Economics at Fundacao Getulio Vargas (EPGE/FGV)

Samuel D. Pessoa

Graduate School of Economics at Fundacao Getulio Vargas (EPGE/FGV); University of Pennsylvania

Fernando Veloso

Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais (IBMEC), Rio de Janeiro

Date Written: September 2005

Abstract

In a widely cited paper, Young (1995) showed that the East Asian miracles (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan) grew mostly through input accumulation during the period 1966-1990. Using data for 83 countries taken from the Penn World Table, version 6.1, and Barro and Lee (2000), we use a common methodology in order to compare the growth performance of the East Asian miracles with the rest of the world. We find that, even though the TFP growth rates of the four East Asian miracles were not remarkable in absolute values, they were very high in relative terms. We argue that, since Young (1995) focused only on the four East Asian miracles, he did not notice that 1966-1990 was a period of particularly low TFP growth and particularly high factor accumulation in the world. Despite the fact that they had high rates of physical capital accumulation, the distinguishing feature of these miracles was their relative productivity growth performance.

Keywords: East Asian miracles, TFP Growth, Growth Decomposition

JEL Classification: O11, O47, O41

Suggested Citation

Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro and Pessoa, Samuel D. and Veloso, Fernando, On the Tyranny of Numbers: East Asian Miracles in World Perspective (September 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.875417

Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira (Contact Author)

Graduate School of Economics at Fundacao Getulio Vargas (EPGE/FGV) ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1125, CEP
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil
+55 21 559 5840 (Phone)
+55 21 553 8821 (Fax)

Samuel D. Pessoa

Graduate School of Economics at Fundacao Getulio Vargas (EPGE/FGV) ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1125, CEP
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil
+55 21 559 5833 (Phone)
+55 21 552 4898 (Fax)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Department of Economics
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

Fernando Veloso

Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais (IBMEC), Rio de Janeiro ( email )

Av. Rio Branco, 108
Rio de Janeiro RJ 20040-001
Brazil

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