Issues of International Finance in Developing Countries The financial Crises of this and last Decades: Anticipation, Action and Reaction - Part 2
Different from the Latin American case, the Asian financial meltdown was linked to excess indebtedness of the private corporate and financial sectors. Since that region had grown in leaps and bounds over three decades, investors became overly confident. The devaluation and financial meltdown in Thailand were transmitted to other countries in East and Southeast Asia, as external creditors and investors withdrew their funds in a hurry. The controversy between West and East was acrimonious, both with respect to the origins of the crises and the remedies to cure it, but the region stabilized soon and is growing again strongly, with finances put on a more solid basis.
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As important if not more decisive than the accumulation and allocation of physical capital were the channeling resources into education, or as economists would say the formation of human capital. Besides making sure that nearly everybody went through primary school to eradicate illiteracy, the expansion of secondary and university education in those economies was dramatic. Comparisons of the educational background of the labor force in South Korea and Brazil highlight the different inputs the two countries mobilized in the educational field. Between 1976 and 1985, the Korean working force with high school education rose from 62 of 68% and the people with university degrees rose from 18 to 24%. The comparable figures for Brazil during the same time period are 25 and 33% as well as 4 and 7%.
In addition, the Asian policy makers used a judicious mixture of selective import substitution and strong export diversification strategies, which resulted in relative rapid transformat...
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