Crisis management and the diversity of capitalism: fiscal stimulus packages and the East Asian (neo-)developmental state

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Abstract: This paper contributes to the understanding of East Asian capitalism by investigating the political economy of crisis management in Japan, Korea and China during the global economic crisis. Reacting to the global shock of the economic crisis that began in 2008, East Asian capitalism has remained a distinct state-led model that differs substantially from the liberal, neo-corporatist or welfare state varieties of capitalism in the West. More specifically, this paper studies the fiscal stimulus packages implemented by East Asian countries to address the global financial crisis from 2008 to 2010. We find that East Asian fiscal stimulus packages were comparatively large and supply-side-oriented. Unlike in the West, where a (short-lived) revival of demand-side-oriented Keynesian strategies stimulating consumption could be observed, East Asian countries reinforced industrial policies and supported investment and international competitiveness. We argue that the East Asian variety of crisis management can largely be explained by a path-dependent transformation of the East Asian developmental state into a neo-developmental competition state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-270
Number of pages27
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015

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  • East Asia
  • comparative political economy
  • developmental state
  • fiscal policies
  • international political economy
  • varieties of capitalism


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