The Political Economy of Automotive Industrialization in East Asia

Doner, Richard F., Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus, Emory University
Noble, Gregory W., University of Tokyo
Ravenhill, John, University of Waterloo
Emission / Séminaire / Colloque: 

Gerpisa monthly seminar

Richard F. Doner, Gregory W. Noble and John Ravenhill, will draw on their recently published book – The Political Economy of Automotive Industrialization in East Asia (Oxford University Press, 2021

Through a study of the automotive industries in seven East Asian countries—China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand— the talk will address the question of what makes for successful industrial upgrading, the process through which domestic firms acquire the capabilities to move into higher value-added activities at global levels of efficiency. The authors distinguish between two stylized but analytically useful levels of growth: extensive and intensive. In some countries, automotive industrialization has involved extensive growth, consisting largely of vehicle and components assembly and, in some cases, exports, primarily under the aegis of foreign producers operating in global value chains. In contrast, intensive growth occurs when local value added increases as a consequence of inputs from national producers, in turn resting on improvements in national technical capabilities. Their seven cases provide us not just with a mix of strategies but also variance in success. They explore the reasons for success and failure, and why some countries chose to make the investments required to successfully pursue an intensive strategy. Their focus is on the role of institutions specific to the automotive development strategy, and the political origins of these institutions.

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