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Economies of South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements

Successful completion of State, Politics and Economy in Modern South and Southeast Asia (SPE). Please, contact the student advisor, or the convenor, Dr. A.R. Shidiq, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the abovementioned requirement.


This course offers a broad survey of today’s economies of South and Southeast Asia. The main focus is on long-run economic growth and social change. Why did some countries, in particular in Southeast Asia, perform far better than India and its neighbors? How did long-term growth take places in South and Southeast Asian economies in the last 30-40 years? How were the nations of Southeast Asia affected by financial crisis in the late 1990s?

In comparing economies in these two regions, this course is structured around the development of determinants of long run economic growth: physical and human capital accummulation as well as technological change. This course also looks at changes in economic sectoral composition and country’s structural transformation to more productive economic activities. Special attention is given to the role of the state and economic policy.

The first half of the course is devoted to the topics of long-run growth determinants. The second half of the course will focus on the structural transformation. Students are expected to work on an individual research topic resulting in class presentation and essay.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will have acquired:

  • Empirical knowledge on economic performance of South and Southeast Asian economies.

  • Analytical skills to apply simple economic concepts and theories in understanding what makes South and Southeast Asian economies differ in their economic performances and long run growth.

  • Practical training for data analysis and oral and written presentation.



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and participation are obligatory. Classes missed for a good reason (to the discretion of the conveners and to be discussed BEFORE the class takes place) will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course load

Consists of the following:

  • 26 hrs class

  • 34 hrs readings for class

  • 40 hrs individual literature study

  • 40 hrs compilation of essay

Assessment method

  • performance in class: attendance, presentations, participation (30%)

  • essay of 3000 words (70%)

The final mark is made up of the weighted average of the essay and the performance in class. In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of “5.50” (=6) or higher. A new version of the final essay (70%) may be written if the overall mark for the course is “5.49” or lower. The deadline for this version will be determined in consultation.

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Selected recent articles on the economies of South and Southeast Asia. The complete list of articles will be announced in the first class.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

(Studeren à la carte is not possible for this course.)


Dr. A.R. Shidiq


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).