1st Edition

The Economic Consequences of Globalization on Thailand

By Juthathip Jongwanich Copyright 2022
    288 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the impact of globalization, especially in the context of trade and investment policies, on the key economic outcomes, including innovation, productivity, employment, and wages, using Thai manufacturing as a case study. The book looks at the impacts of the shift of manufacturing share from industrialized to emerging countries and emergence of ‘global value chains’ (GVCs) as well as liberalization through the proliferation of free-trade agreements (FTAs) on key economic outcomes.

    The book highlights that globalization, through trade (including the parts and components trade) and investment, continues in Thailand amid the anti-globalization sentiment since the onset of the new millennium, especially the US–China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic. Thailand has gained considerable benefit from trade and investment liberalization in various forms, including innovation, firm productivity improvements, and workers’ skills enhancement. Although the country has prospered in these areas, several further enhancements are needed in order to effectively harness the benefits available from globalization, including continued trade and investment policy reforms. Key policy inferences are provided in the last chapter.

    The book will appeal to those with an interest in international economics, especially issues relating to the economic consequences of globalization. It will also appeal to policymakers and practitioners responsible for international trade and investment regulations.

    1. Introduction 2. The trade policy regime in Thailand 3. Free trade agreements and investment policies in Thailand 4. Trade and foreign direct investment in Thailand 5. MNEs, exporting and R&D activities in Thailand 6. Trade and investment policies on firms’ Productivity 7. Globalization and labor market outcomes 8. Conclusions and policy inferences


    Juthathip Jongwanich is an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University in Thailand. She holds a PhD (High Distinction) in Economics from the Australian National University. Her research interests lie in the area of international economics, international macroeconomics, capital mobility, multinational enterprises, and international production networks. Her research output has been published in leading peered review journals such as World Development, Food Policy, World Economy, Oxford Development Studies, Review of Policy Research, Applied Economics, Journal of Asian Economics, Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Developing Economies, Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, and Asian Economic Paper. She also works as a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

    "One of Asia’s leading economists, Dr Juthathip Jongwanich, has written a very clear, comprehensive, analytically rigorous and empirically rich analysis of Thailand and the global economy. She concludes that the historically dynamic Thai economy has ‘gained considerable benefit from trade and investment liberalization’. But there is also a significant unfinished reform agenda, including further liberalizations, enhanced supply-side investment, and investment incentives reform. Dr Jongwanich has been working on these issues for many years, and she writes with great authority. This is a model of how to undertake country case study research that is effectively nested within the unsettled international debates and literature about globalization and its consequences. Highly recommended."

    Hal Hill, Australian National University 

    "This volume is a major contribution to the sparse case-study literature on the national development strategy in this era of economic globalisation. What are emerging opportunities for export-oriented industrialisation? What is the role of MNEs in the process of internationalisation of production and how it has evolved over time? How to design national development policy to maximise gains from global economic integration while paying due attention to structural peculiarities and political-economy imperatives of a given country? This book provides wealth of insights into these and related issues based on a rigorous analysis of the experience of Thailand. The book will not only be interest to researchers and students, but also to analysist in the policy making community."

    Prema-chandra Athukorala, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Australian National University

    "Thailand is one of the great success stories of globalisation. This remarkable book provides the best available account of why that has happened. The author first describes the liberalisation of Thailand’s trade policies and its welcoming stance towards foreign investment. She then provides a comprehensive sectoral account of both the growth in trade and the increase in FDI. This is followed by sophisticated econometric examination of the consequences for R&D and innovation, for firm productivity, and for labour market outcomes, including workers’ skills, wage levels and employment. There is also a thorough consideration of the effects - not all good – on wage-skill premiums and inequality. Interestingly, FTAs have so far been of limited value, since sectoral coverage is thin, and the utilisation of preferences remains low. Rules of origin remain important, although this may change. An important final chapter makes specific proposals as to how policy might be improved. This is a book which will be of significant value to researchers and policymakers, not just in Thailand but far beyond. It shows just how much can be gained from a very clear focus and a careful attention to detail."

    David Vines, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford