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[Excerpt] While Asia’s high growth rates during the last 5 decades have been well documented and discussed, a facet perhaps less well-known is the great heterogeneity in economic transformation in the region. This term refers to a series of processes (changes) that have been observed to take place in developed countries during many decades, centuries, akin to laws of development. The most important of these changes is the decline in the shares of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) and in total employment; and concomitantly the increase in the shares of industry and services. Second, is the diversification of the production and export structures. Modern economies not only produce more than ancient economies, but they have a much more diversified output range. Third, is the use of more technologically advanced methods of production. Fourth is urbanization. Cities are today’s engines of growth. And finally, key social changes accompany the transformation of economies, e.g., the role of women. These changes, together, drive the long-term performance of an economy and, although not seen on a day-to-day basis, they are felt over decades.


Suggested Citation
Asian Development Bank. (2013). e-Quarterly Research Bulletin, 4(4).

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This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (