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Re-examination on the role of the state in the development of Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises, 1950- 2000: the state, market and social institution

Chang, Ting Ting (2011) Re-examination on the role of the state in the development of Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises, 1950- 2000: the state, market and social institution. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

Much research has been devoted to the story of Taiwan’s post-war economic development. The neo-classical economists argue that its government created a free market economy which led to rapid economic growth. The revisionists, Robert Wade and Alice Amsden, address the role of the state in formulating and leading the economic miracle. One of the characteristics of the Taiwanese economy was that the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were found in great numbers (around 90%) in Taiwanese manufacturing industry. These SMEs were export-oriented and contributed greatly to the export growth in the 1970s and the 1980s. The success of the Taiwanese manufacturing SMEs was usually attributed to the market and the development policies which the state established and enforced. However, the existing literature ignores (1) the further development of the SMEs after the late 1980s; (2) the role which Taiwanese society played in the rise and the development of the SMEs. This ignorance over-estimates the role of the state in the development of the SMEs in the post-war era. The present dissertation reexamines the argument of the neo-classical economists and the revisionists by finding a historical pattern and tracing the further development of the SMEs after the late 1980s. To what extent did the market established by the state and the state development policy supported the rise and the development of the Taiwanese manufacturing SMEs from 1950 to 1980? What puts into question the influences of the state on the SMEs after the late 1980s? Why did the state have limited influences on the SMEs after the late 1980s? The dissertation finds that Wade and Amsden over-estimated the role of the state in the rise and development of the SMEs by explaining the limited influences of the state on the SMEs after the late 1980s. The research, by clarifying the relation of the state, market and social institutions from the historical pattern, demonstrates that the social institutions are adapted to the changing environment and continuously provided important financial sources to facilitate the SMEs’ business operations from 1950 to 2000.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Ting Ting Chang
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Supervisor: Deng, Kent
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/174

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