Can Asia Sustain an Export-Led Growth Strategy in the Aftermath of the Global Crisis? An Empirical Exploration

Arslan Razmi, Gonzalo Hernandez
JEL codes: 
ADBI Working Paper Series

Many developing countries have attempted to pursue the East Asian growth model in recent decades. This model is widely perceived to have been based on export-led growth. Given that developed countries are likely to grow at a slower rate and be less willing to run trade deficits in the post-financial-crisis world, can this growth model be sustained? Using panel data for Asian countries, this paper contributes to addressing this question by distinguishing between different kinds of export- and tradable-led growth in order to more precisely identify the nature of growth in the pre-crisis decades. We find in particular that, among our variables of interest, the proportion of a country’s manufactured exports that is destined for industrialized countries is the one most robustly associated with output growth. The results have implications for continued post-crisis growth in Asian developing countries.