The Developing Economies

Volume 36, Number 4 (December 1998)

■ The Developing Economies Volume 36, Number 4 (December 1998)
■ B5
■ 105pp
■ December 1998

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Income Distribution Policies in East Asia (1.43MB) / Harry T. Oshima

The Structure of Chinese Poverty, 1988 (956KB) / Bjorn Gustafsson and Li Shi

Book Reviews


Harry T. Oshima, "Income Distribution Policies in East Asia," pp. 359-86.

This paper focuses on the important measures implemented by East Asian countries to reduce income inequality and tries to assess policy effectiveness. These policies pertain to the following activities: (1) rural development programs including land reform, (2) promotion of off-farm (or nonagricultural) activities, (3) industrial policies emphasizing labor-intensive production, (4) promotion of skill formation and schooling, (5) policies to slow population growth, (6) public welfare spending, and (7) policies to reduce inter-regional income gaps. The author concludes that East Asia has been able to grow earlier and faster than Southeast Asia where rural development has been less successful and off-farm activities minimal. In the Southeast and South Asian countries the factors opposing equalization are still powerful, and only determined implementation efforts can succeed.

Bjorn Gustafsson and Li Shi, " The Structure of Chinese Poverty, 1988," pp. 387-406.

The structure of poverty in the People's Republic of China is investigated using the Household Income Survey for the reference period of 1988. The poverty line is set equal to 50 per cent of median income in the entire country and a new approach by Jenkins and Lambert (1995, 1997) in aggregating poverty is used. The results show that, as expected, poverty in China is almost entirely a rural phenomenon. Poverty is most extensive in the western part of the country, but nevertheless the rural poor are found all over the country. While there is more poverty in areas officially classified as poor areas than elsewhere, most of the Chinese rural poor do not live in such areas. Further, most persons living in classified poor areas are found to be not poor. Poverty status in rural China is found to vary remarkably little by age or by gender.

Tatsufumi Yamagata, "Analogous Cycles with Lagged Co-movement: U.S. and East Asian Business Cycles," pp. 407-39.

In selected East Asian economies, the behavior of detrended macroeconomic variables was found to be similar to that observed in the postwar U.S. economy. Consumption and investment are highly procyclical while the balance of trade and the price level are counter-cyclical in most of them. Labor productivity is procyclical in general. The high coherence between U.S. GDP and that of the East Asian economies suggests that business cycles in terms of frequency are also similar between the United States and East Asia. However, the GDP and consumption of East Asian countries do not necessarily co-move well with current U.S. and Japanese GDP and consumption, while East Asian consumption tends to co-move more with lagged U.S. and Japanese consumption.

Yoko Iwasaki, "The Role of the Namayande in Iran's Textile Industry," pp. 440-58.

The Iranian textile industry still remains important as one of the largest sources of employment within the non-petroleum sector, although it no longer plays the large role it used in the country's economy (having been replaced by petroleum as the economy's primary industry).
The subject of this study are middlemen known as namayande in the Iranian textile industry who plays a very important role in the operations of the innumerable small and medium-sized private firms. When private firms import materials from abroad, namayande make the connections between them and foreign sellers. These middlemen are not local sales agents of foreign companies as is usually the case; rather the namayande specialize in purchasing goods for local buyers.
This study will point out some of the reasons why the namayande exist, and examine the present state of Iran's textile industry along with the particular management problems found within the firms' operations.