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Economics East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


The East Asian economy is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing regional economies in the world. Due to the export-led economic development in Japan and Korea in the post-war era and in China since the 1978 reforms, the East Asian economy has become greatly connected to other regions of the world. Today, political and economic changes in East Asian countries can largely shake the international economic system.
Economic developments in the East Asian countries have experienced various stages. Initially Japan’s economic miracle and especially the successful developmental state model gave rise to the regional economic growth. Under Japan’s influence, as well as its own outward-looking economic strategy in the 1960s, South Korea started rapid industrialization and strong growth for the next three decades. However, the bursting of Japanese asset price bubble in the early 1990s and the disastrous Asian financial crisis in 1997 (which specifically affected South Korea among all the East Asian countries) severely retarded the growth in the region. On the other hand, China has adopted a series of economic and political reforms since 1978, which gradually drove its economy toward a market-oriented regime. China has increasingly strengthened trade and investment links with other East Asian countries; and its continuous economic growth has become a powerful engine of the regional development. As a result, China became an important regional power not only in the east but also the whole Asian region. However, the domestic problems in China such as regional inequality, environmental degradation, and corruption have increasingly threatened China’s economic strength.
How to maintain the economic dynamism and stability in the East Asian region –especially in the post global financial crisis era- has become an increasingly important topic among academics, policy makers and business people. In order to solve a question like this, we need to scrutinize carefully the economic policy making, institutional development and regional cooperation mechanisms in East Asia. This course introduces students to the economic development in East Asia in the post-war era, and prepares students for critical thinking and analysis of issues related to economic development model(s), financial policies, industrialization processes, employment system and labour issues, environmental governance, and regional economic integration in East Asia.

Tentative Seminar Schedule:
1. East Asia in the Era of Globalization and Introduction to the Course
2. Economic Development in East Asian Countries (I): China
3. Economic development in East Asian countries (I): Japan
4. Economic development in East Asian countries (II): Korea
5. Development State Model
6. Corporation Groups and Networks in East Asian countries
7. Privatization in East Asian countries
8. Trade and Production Networks in East Asia
9. Financial Sectors and Financial Crises in East Asia
10. Labour- Employment Systems, Human Capital Formation in East Asian countries
11. Environmental governance in East Asia
12. East Asian Regionalism

Course objectives

  • Acquire a sound knowledge of the development of East Asian economies in the post-war era (with a focus on the recent development)

  • Critical thinking and analysis of economic development models, financial policies, industrialization process, employment system and labour issues, environmental governance, and regional economic integration in East Asia

  • Conduct effective research activities in various forms on the subject

  • Oral presentation, group work, and essay writing at corresponding academic level


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; tri-weekly tutorials.

Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform the tutor of the course in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Atending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks: 24 hrs

  • Atending attending tutorials 2 hours per three weeks: 8 hrs

  • Assessment hours (midterms and final exam): 4 hrs

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 68 hrs

  • Time for completing assignments, preparation classes and exams: 36 hrs

Assessment method


Midterm Exam:
Written examination with closed questions (multiple choice)

Final exam:
Written examination with short open questions


Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40 %

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 5.5), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Boyer, R., Uemura, H. and Isogai, A. (2012) Diversity and Transformations of Asian Capitalism (Oxon: Routledge).

Flath, D. (2014) The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press, third edition.
Chung, Y. (2007) South Korea in the Fast Lane: Economic Development and Capital Formation (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Naughton, B. (2007), The Chinese Economy: Transition and Growth (London: The MIT Press)
Naughton, B. and Tsai, K. S. (2015) (ed.) State Capitalism, Insititutional Adaptation, and the Chinese Miracle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Pempel, T. J. (ed) (2005) Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region (Cornell University Press).
Beeson, M. (2014) Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Ecoonmic Development, 2nd edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For tutorials
Dr. J. Wang
Dr. S. Shibata