The Developing Economies

Volume 41, Number 1 (March 2003)

■ The Developing Economies Volume 41, Number 1 (March 2003)
■ B5
■ 105pp
■ March 2003

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Book Reviews


Takashi Yano and Hiroyuki Kosaka, "Trade Patterns and Exchange Rate Regimes: Testing the Asian Currency Basket Using an International Input-Output System," pp. 3-36.

This paper aims at analyzing exchange rates and trade patterns of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan in relation to Japan and the United States, with reference to the Asian currency crises in 1997. In order to analyze these issues, we constructed an international input-output model linked with macroeconometric models of the ten countries/regions. Analyses on the Asian exchange rates with a currency basket peg framework show that the Asian exchange rate policy was the de-facto dollar peg policy. As for trade patterns in relation to the yen-dollar rate; when a country/region's industrial structure is similar to that of Japan's and the yen is weak, the appropriate change of the yen's weight proves to hold its competitiveness. By contrast, the weak yen shows a decrease of its imports, regarding complementary structure. In either case, however, effects are limited.

Chi-Nien Chung, "Managerial Structure of Business Groups in Taiwan: The Inner Circle System and Its Social Organization," pp. 37-64.

This paper examined the management structure of Taiwan's business groups. The objective was to determine how independent group firms coordinate their business. Employing longitudinal data of the top 100 groups, I investigated the "inner circle" system and its evolution. I found that group leaders occupied overlapped positions at the director rather than at the manager level, which implied a separation of strategic planning and routine administration. Secondly, the dynamics of inner circle management did not hinge upon the roup president as in the Korean chaebol, nor on the norm of corporate community as in the Japanese keiretsu , but on the social ties in the inner circle. Analyzing the background of the leaders indicated that family never dominated the scene even in the early years, and their significance decreased along with environmental changes. The transition in Taiwan in the late 1980s motivated business groups to introduce more "outside" talent into decision-making.

Pundarik Mukhopadhaya, "The Ordinal and Cardinal Judgment of Social Welfare Changes in Singapore, 1982-99," pp. 65-87.

This paper analyses the changes in social welfare in Singapore using both cardinal and ordinal measures. Labour Force Survey data published by the Manpower Research and Statistics, Department of the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore are used. It is observed with the use of Lorenz dominance technique that social welfare in Singapore during 1999 is less than in 1991 while an unambiguous conclusion cannot be made on the welfare ranking of 1982 and 1991 or of 1982 and 1999. According to the generalized Lorenz dominance, 1999 ranks first; however, this criterion is also unable to make any unambiguous ranking between 1982 and 1991. The ranking based on Sen social welfare function shows a continuous increase in the social welfare in Singapore. But when a more general social welfare function is used a different ordering might occur.

Edmund R. Thompson, "Technology Transfer to China by Hong Kong's Cross-Border Garment Firms," pp. 88-111.

Hong Kong manufacturers have historically been one of the main sources of foreign direct investment to China, but their contribution to the transfer of technology to the mainland has been questioned due to the generally labor- rather than capital-intensive, low-value-adding activities they perform there. Using data from eighty-four Hong Kong-based garment manufacturers that have invested directly in mainland China, this paper examines the role of Hong Kong FDI in the transfer of technology to China. Analyses show that Hong Kong garment firms are in fact human-capital-intensive and are endowed with valuable managerial technology and, moreover, act as effective channels for the transfer of such technology to mainland China.