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Home > Books & Journals > Book Review Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Book Review #7: May 8, 2001

"The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons for a Resilient Asia"

by Woo, Sachs, and Schwab

Title: The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons for a Resilient Asia
Authors: Wing Thye Woo, Jeffrey D. Sachs and Klaus Schwab
Publisher: The MIT Press
Date/Time: 2000
Pages: English text 280 pages (Paperback)


This book has resulted from a cooperative research arrangement between the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID). Earlier versions of the chapters in this book were presented at the January 1999 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and revisions have been made to take recent developments into account.

The WEF-HIID research team has recognized from the beginning, unlike other observers, that the Asian financial crisis was part of a global financial phenomenon, rather than a result of unique factors in the Pacific Asia region. Therefore, they have tried to analyze the causes and mechanisms of financial crises in the past and to formulate recommendations for reforming international organizations, governments and businesses in order to reduce the likelihood of future international financial crises.

In this book, the research team maintains that "the harshness of the Asian financial crisis was the joint product of external shock, internal weaknesses and policy mistakes," and makes several policy recommendations for reforms of financial institutions within developing countries, reforms of the IMF and the international monetary system, reforms of international capital markets, and reforms of Asia's economy and society. They conclude that although Asian countries have a clear need for reform, "the outlook for a full recovery from the contraction is positive" and that "sound economic growth will be sustained provided that the right policies are adopted."

The table of contents is as follows:

I Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis
1. A Reform Agenda for a Resilient Asia (Jeffrey Sachs and Wing Thye Woo)
2. Understanding the Asian Financial Crisis (Jeffrey Sachs and Wing Thye Woo)
3. Restructuring Asia's Financial System (Donald Hanna)
4. Export Competitiveness in Asia (Mumtaz Hussain and Steven Radelet)
5. The Cost of Crony Capitalism (Shang-Jin Wei and Sara Dievers)
6. Competitiveness in Asia: A Value-Driven Perspective (Thomas Lewis)
II Country Profiles: Reform, Recovery, and Growth
7. China: Confronting Restructuring and Stability (Wing Thye Woo)
8. Indonesia: A Troubled Beginning (Steven Radelet and Wing Thye Woo)
9. Japan: The World's Slowest Crisis
10. Korea: Returning to Sustainable Growth?
11. Malaysia: Adjusting to Deep Integration with the World Economy (Dwight Perkins and Wing Thye Woo)
12. Thailand and the Crisis: Roots, Recovery and Long-Run Competitiveness (Frank Flatters)

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