In the most comprehensive analysis of Taiwan's ecomic development available to date, Y. Dolly Hwang traces the ecomic, political, and historical factors that enabled the island to transform itself from a poor country burdened with heavy foreign debt and rampant inflation into an emerging world ecomic power in a period of only forty years. Hwang explores the role played by the cultural and individual aspirations of the Taiwanese; the improvements in political, social, and educational life that were made possible by the island's ecomic growth; Taiwan's growing contribution to the global ecomy; and the country's ability to rapidly narrow the techlogical gap between itself and the industrialized nations. Throughout, Hwang emphasizes the dynamic interrelationships among the various factors that have created Taiwan's phemenal success. Following an overview of Taiwan's postwar ecomic development, Hwang surveys events in Chinese history which laid the groundwork for Taiwan's rise to a world ecomic power. Hwang then devotes separate chapters to the influence of Taiwan's struggle for survival on its ecomic development, the role of government and the techcrats, and the contribution of specific ecomic policies, particularly the drive to develop an export-based ecomy. Subsequent chapters address industrialization, international trade, Taiwan's monetary, fiscal, and financial system, Confucianism and the capitalist spirit in Taiwan, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized enterprises, and the parts played by the United States and Japan in Taiwan's ecomic development. The concluding chapter looks at likely future scenarios for the island nation, including a possible reunification with mainland China. Students of ecomic history, ecomic development, and Asian Studies will find Hwang's study enlightening reading.
Y. DOLLY HWANG is President of Northern Pacific International, a consulting firm. Dr. Hwang received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.