This study examines the risk of premature deindustrialization in latecomer developing countries in Asia, focusing on their manufacturing output ratio. Diverging from the literature that treats Asian economies as a group with comparative advantages in manufacturing, this empirical analysis adopts the latecomer index to demonstrate downward shifts in the latecomers’ manufacturing–income relationship, implying a premature deindustrialization risk. Furthermore, it shows that the risk is higher for manufacturing trade-deficit countries (compared with trade-surplus countries) and for South Asian countries (compared with Southeast Asian countries). Therefore, Asian economies should improve their logistics performance for greater global value chain participation to avoid premature deindustrialization.

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