The total factor productivity (TFP) growth controversy and the recent economic crisis raise many questions about the future growth of East Asia. Our analysis of historical experiences shows that low TFP growth in the East Asian newly industrialized economies (NIEs) is a natural pattern of growth at the initial phase of industrialization. Empirical evidence shows that East Asian NIEs in recent decades have been proceeding toward an efficiency-based growth as developed countries did some time ago. The history of Latin America, however, indicates that the reform of old-fashioned institutions is needed if East Asia is to follow the path of the developed countries.

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