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Economics East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


The East Asian economy is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing regional economy 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 the 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 economic development models, financial policies, industrialization processes, employment system and labour issues, environmental governance, and regional economic integration, etc. in East Asia.
Tentative Seminar Schedule:
1. Course introduction
2. Economic development in East Asian countries (I): Japan
3. Economic development in East Asian countries (II): Korea
4. Economic development in East Asian countries (III): China
5. Economic development models in East Asia
6. Industrialization in Korea, Japan and China
7. Industrial Organizations in Korea, Japan, and China
8. State Owned Enterprises and ‘Privatization’ in Korea, Japan and China
9. Trade and production networks in East Asia
10. Labour (employment systems and human capital formation) in East Asia
11. Financial Systems in Korea, Japan and China
12. Environmental governance in East Asia
13. East Asian integration and regionalization

Course objectives

  • Acquire a sound knowledge of the development of East Asian economy 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 interation, etc. in East Asia

  • Formulate original research questions and conduct effective research activities in various forms on the subject

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


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for the course is 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and tutorials: 32 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 60 hours

  • Assessments: 48 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), 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

Reading list will be updated on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. J. Wang, email

For tutorials Economics East Asia:

Economics East Asia