DP9364 The Commodity Export, Growth, and Distribution Connection in Southeast Asia 1500-1940
|Author(s):||Jeffrey G Williamson|
|Publication Date:||February 2013|
|Keyword(s):||commodities, development, distribution, southeast Asia, trade|
|JEL(s):||F14, N15, O53|
|Programme Areas:||Economic History|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9364|
This paper explores Southeast Asia's trade performance over the four and a half centuries from 1500 to 1940. It identifies the determinants of the commodity export performance ? falling trade costs, income growth of its trading partners, and improved supply conditions at home. It also explores its impact on Southeast Asia's growth performance: trade specialization generated more macro volatility, de-industrialization, rising colonial power, and greater inequality up to World War 1, but these forces turned around in the region thereafter, including some modest industrial Catch-up. Finally, the paper elaborates on the distributional impact and colonial profitability of commodity export booms and busts throughout the last century.