Oliver W. Kim

An East Asian Economic History Reading List

An East Asian Economic History Reading List

The Bare Necessities

If you want to know how Asia escaped poverty in the span of generation, Joe Studwell’s How Asia Works is quickly becoming the starting-point. It’s an impressive synthesis of prior work by Ronald Dore, Alice Amsden, among others. The policy lessons have largely been ignored, but Studwell’s book has created a small revival of interest in land reform and industrial policy.


Debin Ma

Paired with Rana Mitter’s Forgotten Ally, which argues forcefully that the KMT was doing the bulk of the fighting and dying against the Japanese, and you might be tempted to become a KMT apologist.


Particularly in economic history, where there is no fieldwork. Also, fiction makes us better and more empathetic human beings. So the hope is, anyway.

A Macro Development Christmas Wishlist