Economics 341 Special Topics: Economies of East Asia

(All readings should be completed prior to lecture)      

Syllabus  (PDF)     Country Report  (PDF)     Grading Scale     AdditionalArticles1     AdditionalArticles2    Websites         

Country Report Topic Suggestions       Presentation Schedule     Acrobat Reader




Week 1


August 31


September 2, 4

Introduction to East Asia- Finding Out What We know and Don't Know

Lecture 1: Introduction to East Asia     (PPT)


Resources on Websites: Asian Development Outlook 2015  (Supplement)     BBC-Country Profiles     FAMiliarization   


Assignment 1 (Due September 21) - Construct a short (no more than 10 slides) presentation introducing a country in East Asia other than China, Japan, or Vietnam. Do not simply present statistics and be sure to note the major current economic and\or political issues.  Your may will be asked to make a presentation during Week 4. You may do this assignment in a group of 2.

Week 2


September 9, 11

A Little History - East Asian Miracle


A Little History - East Asian Crisis

Lecture 2: East Asian Miracle     (PPT)


Lecture 3: East Asian Crisis     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). Bhagwati, Jagdish (1996), ‘The Miracle That Did Happen: Understanding East Asia in Comparative Perspective’, Keynote speech delivered at Cornell University.


2). Krugman, Paul, (1994).  The Myth of Asia's Miracle, Foreign Affairs


3). Khor, Martin, (1998), ‘The Economic Crisis in East Asia: Causes, Effects, Lessons. Third World Network.


4). Yellen, Janet (2007), ’The Asian Financial Crisis Ten Years Later: Assessing the Past and Looking to the Future’, Speech to the Asia Society of Southern California, FRBSF.


Additional Reading: Jomo, KS (2001), Growth After the Asian Crisis: What Remains of the East Asian Model’, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Week 3



14, 16, 18

The Economy of Vietnam

Lecture 4: Vietnam     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) (2014), ’Vietnam Country Report.’


2). McCornac, D.C. (2012) The Challenge of Corruption in Higher Education: The Case of Vietnam’, Asian Education and Development Studies.


3). McCornac, D. C. (2013) ‘Vietnam’s Foreign Policy Tightrope,’ East Asian Forum.


Additional Readings:


McKinsey Global Institute (2012) ’Sustaining Vietnam’s Growth: The Productivity Challenge


Resources on Websites: ADB-Vietnam     Doing Business in Vietnam     Thanh Nien News     The Diplomat     Vietnam Investment Review     Vietnam News     VietnamNet     World Bank-Vietnam     Cost of Living Comparison


Videos: Discovery Channel - Ultimate Journeys Vietnam,     Hanoi Rain,    Old Quarter Food,  South China Sea Dispute,     Traffic

Week 4



21, 23, 25

The Economy of Vietnam Cont’d


Country Presentations

Filling In the Blanks

Country Presentations


Assignment 2 (Due October 19) - Examine some of the websites dealing with a country other than the one you did for your presentation (you can include Vietnam).  Submit a 2-3 page report discussing a current issue that is particularly relevant to the country you choose. Reference at least 5 sources (Internet sites are fine). This is not a group assignment.

Week 5


September 28, 30


October 2

Country Presentations

Filling In the Blanks


Ambiguous Role of the State



Lecture 5: Ambiguous Role of the State     (PPT)


Resources on Websites: Capitalism vs. Socialism     Human Rights Watch     Transparency International

Week 6



5, 7, 9

Catching up Time and Discussion Day


Exam 1

Exam 1 (October 9)

Week 7



12, 14

Exploring the Chinese economy

Lecture 6: Chinese Economy     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). Congressional Research Service (2015) ‘China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States.’


2). World Bank (2013), ‘China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society(look at overview).


Resources on Websites: China Economic Review     ChinaView     People’s Daily Online English Websites


Video: Chinese Economy

Week 8



19, 21, 23

Exploring the Chinese Economy

October 19 – Tentative country report proposal due (please arrange for appointment)


Required Readings:


1). World Bank (2015) ‘China Economic Update’


2). Summary: China’s 60-Point Reform Plan to Chart Development Course for Next Decade


Additional Reading: China’s Reform Plan Expert Views


Videos: Chinese Environment Part 1,   Chinese Environment Part 2


Assignment 3 (Due November 2) - Write a 2-3 page paper detailing what is generally perceived as the most important challenge  facing the Chinese economy. Do the opinions in China differ from those outside China? This is not a group assignment. Reference at least 5 sources (Internet sites are fine).

Week 9



26, 28, 30

Film: To Live will be shown on October 30 at 2:00 pm in

Knott Hall B01

China Continued


To Live, is a film directed by Zhang Yimou, provides an overview of key events in twentieth-century China, moving from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Week 10



2, 4, 6

The Japanese Economy

Lecture 7: Japanese Economy     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). Nanto, Dick (2009), ‘The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade of the 1990, Congressional Research Service.


2). KPMG (2013) ’Brief on Abenomics’.


3). OECD (2015), Economic Survey Japan


Additional Readings:


1). Ohno, Kenichi (2005), ‘The Path Traveled by Japan as a Developing Country: Economic Growth from Edo to Heisei’, Yuhikaku Publishing Co. Ltd., Tokyo. (Chapter 13)


2). McCornac, D. C. (2014) ‘New Nationalism’ in Japan


3). JMA (2015),


Resources on Websites: Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus     Nikkei Asian Weekly     The Diplomat


Videos: Top 15 Must See Places in Tokyo     What a Bunch of Sushis,      Yasukuni Shrine


Week 11


November 9, 11

Japan Cont’d


Week 12



 16, 18, 20

Regional Integration

and the Trans Pacific Partnership


Topics of Interest

Lecture 8: ASEAN and TPP     (PPT)


Required Reading:  Everything You Need to Know About the Trans Pacific Partnership     United States Trade Representative –Trans Pacific Partnership,     Trans-Pacific Partnership Text Released, Waving Green Flag for Debate


Resources on Websites: APEC     ASEAN     Asian Economic Integration Monitor     Asia Regional Integration Center


Videos: Full Text of TPP Trade Deal Revealed -- and Critics Say It's Even Worse Than They Though,     TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of,    TPP: The Dirtiest Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of


More stuff: What You Need to Know,     Xi’s Lonely Walk

Week 13


November 23


Pol Pot    Pol Pot PPT  Video: The Most Evil Men In History - Pol Pot


November 23 (no class, but meet with groups).


Have a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 14


November 30


December 2, 4


Refer to Country Report Presentation Page


Take Home Exam (Due Dec 16)     (Word)

Week 15


December 7, 9




Refer to Country Report Presentation Page


Country Report Due December 9

Final Exam Week

Take-Home Final Exam

Take - Home Exam Due Wednesday, December 16