chapter  4
10 Pages

The Relative Efficiencies of U.S. and Pacific Rim Industries: The Case of the Four Dragons

The onset of the financial crisis in Asia was one of the most notable-and troubling-developments in the world economy during 1997. The currency crisis began in midyear and deepened over the remainder of the year, permeating the real sectors of the distressed economies as well as the rest of the globe. Nevertheless, Asia as a whole continued to experience economic growth. In 2000, largely driven by strong exports to the United States, real gross domestic product growth across Asia (excluding Japan) averaged about 7.3 percent. Most notably among these nations, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, facetiously referred to as the “four dragons” or the “Gang of Four,” continued to forge ahead with impressive economic performance and maintained their status as models of economic development by other developing nations. Table 4.1 provides data on the economic growth of these nations and the United States for the years 1999 and 2000. According to this table the average combined rate of economic growth of these nations as a group was 6.25 percent in 1999, which was higher than the growth rate of 4.08 percent for the United States in the same year. What is even more remarkable is that the projected average rate of growth of these coun-

tries is 8.85 percent, which is much higher than the United States’ rate of growth of 4.14 percent.