Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics

Edited by Ian Coxhead

© 2015 – Routledge

440 pages | 112 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415659949
pub: 2014-12-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315742410
pub: 2014-12-17
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The Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics offers new insights into the rapidly-developing economies of Southeast Asia. Despite widespread initial deprivation, Southeast Asia has achieved and sustained a remarkable rate of growth, in the course of which tens of millions have successfully escaped severe poverty. Though the economies of the region vary in many dimensions, integration into the wider East Asian network of production and trade is a notable common feature, one that continues a centuries-long history of engagement with global trade. A second striking feature is the pace and extent of transformation in the structure of production and in sources of household income in the region, which has undergone remarkably rapid industrialization and urban growth. However, the search for sustained and sustainable growth through and beyond middle-income continues to confront pressing economic and policy challenges.

This Handbook offers a timely and comprehensive overview of Southeast Asian economic development. Organized according to the logic of chronological and thematic unity, it is structured in these sections:

  • Growth and development over the long term
  • Food, agriculture and natural resources
  • Trade, investment and industrialization
  • Population, labor, and human capital
  • Poverty and political economy
  • Twenty-first century challenges

This original Handbook, written by experts in their fields, is unique in the breadth and depth of its coverage. Its forward-looking perspective renders it relevant both now and in the future. This advanced level reference work will be essential reading for students, researchers and scholars of Asian Studies, Economics and Southeast Asian studies.


"This book makes a number of important contributions to the literature on economic development in Southeast Asia. The chapters combine rich historical material with rigorous new analytic work to highlight the factors responsible for the region's rapid transition and economic progress, as well some of the emerging challenges that have contributed to a slowdown in progress in recent years--including rising inequality and new sources of volatility. In this respect, the book raises important questions about the sustainability of growth and economic progress in the future. The book is a must-read for East Asia scholars and policy makers; but it should also be of interest to the broader development community who are keen to understand the solid growth performance of many Southeast Asian countries--despite earlier dismal predictions--and their emerging role in the global economy."

Valerie Kozel Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Coxhead has put together an impressive group of scholars, as well as a handful of practitioners (in particular, four drawn from different sections of the Asian Development Bank). He also secured funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, in New York, to bring the authors to Bangkok for a mini-conference. This prior gathering of the contributors shows in the links that are made between the chapters and in the degree to which the book’s authors have a common voice and approach."

Jonathan Rigg, National University of Singapore, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies

"This is a very valuable book, which includes a great number of excellent contributions and lots of food for thought. It was a pleasure to read and it makes an important contribution to Southeast Asian scholarship. Any researcher working in Southeast Asian studies will have to consult this volume."

Adam Szirmai, UNU---MERIT, Asian Pacific Economic Literature

"For an economics book, the rigorous inclusion of history and political economy are welcomed… Coxhead and his colleagues are to be congratulated for his finely crafted tone."

Francis E. Hutchinson, Yusof Isak Institute, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies

Table of Contents

Growth and development over the long term

1. Southeast Asia’s Long Transition Ian Coxhead


2. The Commodity Export, Growth And Distribution Connection In Southeast Asia, 1500-1940 Jeffrey Williamson


3. A Century Of Growth, Crisis, War And Recovery 1870-1970 Anne Booth


4. Lucky Countries? Internal And External Sources Of Southeast Asian Growth Since 1970 Tracy Phung, Ian Coxhead, and Chang Lian

Food, agriculture and natural resources

5. The Dynamics Of Agricultural Development And Food Security In Southeast Asia: Historical Continuity And Rapid Change C. Peter Timmer

6. Natural Resources, The Environment And Economic Development In Southeast Asia Gerald Shively and Tim Smith


Trade, investment and industrialization

7. Global Production Sharing And Trade Patterns In Southeast Asia Prema-Chandra Athukorala and Archanun Kohpaiboon

8. Foreign Direct Investment In Southeast Asia

Fredrik Sjöholm

9. Regional Trade Agreements and Enterprises in Southeast Asia Ganesh Wignaraja


Population, labor, and human capital

10. The Population of Southeast Asia Gavin Jones


11. The Determinants And Long-Term Projections Of Saving Rates In Southeast Asia Charles Horioka and Akiko Terada-Hagiwara


12. Education In Southeast Asia: Investment, Achievements And Returns Diep Phan and Ian Coxhead


13. Internal And International Migration In Southeast Asia Guntur Sugiyarto

Poverty and political economy

14. The Contribution Of Economic Growth To Poverty Reduction Peter Warr

15. The Political Economy Of Policy Reform: Insights From Southeast Asia Hal Hill

Twenty-first century challenges

16. Dual-Burdens In Health and Aging: Emerging Population Challenges In Southeast Asia Jenna Nobles

17. Southeast Asian Commercial Policy: Outward-Looking Regional Integration Hal Hill and Jayant Menon

18. Macroeconomic Policy And The Global Financial Crisis Bhanupong Nidhiprabha

19. Twenty-First Century Challenges Ian Coxhead, Thee Kian Wee and Arief Anshory Yusuf



About the Editor

Ian Coxhead is Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He is a specialist in economic growth and development, international trade, labor markets and human capital, and household welfare and income distribution, with a strong regional emphasis on Southeast Asia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General