1st Edition

The Diffusion of Western Economic Ideas in East Asia

Edited By Malcolm Warner Copyright 2017
    430 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    432 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the diffusion of economic ideas in East Asia, assessing the impact of external ideas on internal theory and practice. It considers economists from Adam Smith onwards, including Marx, Keynes, Hayek and contemporary economists, and covers the subject both historically and also includes present day and likely future developments. The book covers all the major countries of East Asia, and pays particular attention to specific economists who have had a strong impact in specific countries, and to important developments in economic theory in East Asia, exploring how far these have been driven by Western economic ideas.

    This book will be welcomed by students and scholars of East Asia and South-east Asia, as well as those interested in economics, economic history and management.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. The Introduction of Western Economics in East Asia, Malcolm Warner

    Part II: Country Contexts

    2. The Diffusion of Western Economic Ideas and Policy Concepts in Dynamic Asian Economies: An Overview, Dilip K. Das

    3. The Diffusion of Western Economics in China, Paul B. Trescott

    4. The Diffusion of Western Economics in Japan, Kiichiro Yagi

    5. The Diffusion of Western Economics in Korea, Hoon Hong

    6. The Diffusion of Western Economics in Malaysia, Rajah Rasiah

    7. The Diffusion of Western Economics in the Newly Industrialized Economies: Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, Dilip K. Das

    Part III: Economists

    8. Adam Smith in China: From Oblivion to Half-hearted Embrace? Hongyi Lai

    9. German Economics and China: List, Marx and others, Paul B. Trescott

    10. Friedrich List in China: The Second Face of Janus, Qunyi Liu

    11. The Diffusion of F. A. Hayek’s Thoughts in Mainland China and Taiwan, Weisen Li, Xinyuan Feng, and Liang Sun

    12. On Keynes and China: Keynesianism ‘with Chinese Characteristics’, Malcolm Warner

    13. Adam Smith's ‘Sympathy’ in Modern Japanese Perspectives, Tatsuya Sakamoto

    14. Japan’s Keynes: Takahashi Korekiyo (1854-1936), Richard J. Smethurst

    15. Schumpeter and Japan: Development through Cycles, Mark Metzler

    16. The Legacy of Belgium and the Netherlands, ‘L’Institut Supérieur de Commerce d’Anvers’ and Business Education in Japan: From the 1880s to the 1940s, Tadashi Ohtsuki

    Part IV: Themes

    17. Western Economics in China after 1978: Four Views in Chinese Academia, Fuqian Fang

    18. Western Neo-Classical v Marxist Economics in the PRC after Mao: Another Kind of Revolution? Steve Cohn

    19. Impact of Western Economics on China’s Reforms from the Late 1970s to the Present: An Overview, Ying Zhu & Michael Webber

    20. Western Ideas of Corporate Governance: China’s Reform of Large State-owned Enterprises, Jin Zhang

    Part V: Comparisons

    21. Economic policy-making in Asia: the Western versus Eastern legacy of philosophical and economic thought, Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan

    22. Concluding Remarks: Culture, Ideas and Western Economics in East Asia, Malcolm Warner


    Malcolm Warner is Professor and Fellow Emeritus, Wolfson College, Cambridge and Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK.

    "This fascinating book marks an important step forward in our understanding of the diffusion of Western economics in East Asia since the seventeenth century up until modern times. This is not simply a story about the adoption of Western economic doctrines, but about their adaptation to different cultural habitats and political and economic needs and their confluence with domestic economic and philosophical thought. The attention focuses on China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia and the doctrines of Adam Smith, Friedrich List, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich August von Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter. Under the guidance of Malcolm Warner a set of leading international experts succeeded in elaborating a remarkably thorough and highly instructive work. Against the background of the stunning economic growth in recent decades of some of the countries covered, the book touches also upon the intriguing question of whether there is a relationship between economic views held by politicians and economic advisers, on the one hand, and the economic performance of nations, on the other. This book is a must for economists, historians of economic thought, economic historians, political scientists and sociologists interested in the transmigration of economic ideas and concepts."

    - Heinz D. Kurz, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Graz and Graz Schumpeter Centre, Graz, Austria. 

    "This edited book by Professor Malcolm Warner, a long-time observer of the Asian scene, is a must read for all who seek to understand what, why and how economic principles and concepts that originated in the West have influenced development and growth in select Asian countries, including China and Japan.  The chapters shed important insights on why certain principles have been more readily embraced by the Asian countries under consideration and how they are translated into action in these economies."

    - Rosalie L. Tung, Ming and Stella Wong Professor of International Business, Simon Fraser University, Canada. 

    "The story of how economic analysis as developed and practiced in Europe and North America has spread to the rest of the world has not been systematically told.  That spread was sometimes gradual with fits and starts and sometimes extremely rapid, but today “Western economics” dominates the curriculum of universities all over the world but particularly in Asia.  Economic policy there is largely analyzed and practiced using these tools, not always wisely to be sure.  The Diffusion of Western Economics in East Asia is a major step forward in explaining how this diffusion of economic ideas occurred. It is a fascinating piece of intellectual history that has had a profound impact on how East Asian societies operate today."

    Dwight H. Perkins, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA. 

    "East Asia comprising China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc. has been dubbed the world’s most dynamic economic region, having sustained high growth for over 50 years. Yet surprisingly, the region has no equivalents to such great Western economists as Adam Smith, Karl Marx or John Maynard Keynes, whose ideas and concepts had profoundly influenced many Asian scholars and leaders. Mao Zedong had once said when he died he would be happily going to meet Karl Marx. China’s most distinguished premier, Zhu Rongji, had also likened his “Macroeconomic control” policy to Keynesian demand management.

    Clearly, there is no such thing as Eastern Economics vs Western Economics. It is all about how major Western economic thought and theory had been transmitted to the East and how they were embraced in the academic and political circles.

    This book edited by Malcolm Warner promises fascinating reading to those who want to follow how many great Western economic ideas have been diffused in East Asian societies under different historical and institutional settings—even more importantly, how they have impacted the modernization and transformation of these societies."

    - John Wong, Professorial Fellow and Academic Advisor (formerly Director, Research Director) of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    Overall, this book is highly recommended for students of East Asia with research interests relating to history and contemporary studies of policy, and also for historians of ideas. Given the rediscovery of the role of ideas in politics, understanding the intellectual dynamics of economics has become increasingly important for researchers attempting to analyse political change and policy-making, past and present. So, theorists of political science might also enjoy reading the book as a source of empirical data relevant towards testing their general hypotheses.

    - Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Erfurt University, Germany, Asia Pacific Business Review