The Philippine Economic Mystery

Dec 06, 2007Dec 07, 2007
Mercatus Center

The Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University presents a Brown Bag Lecture by Professor Robert Nelson, Mercatus Center Affiliated Senior Scholar and professor of public policy at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy on his paper “The Philippine Economic Mystery.” The presentation will include commentary from Mercatus Scholars John Nye, Frederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy at George Mason, and Hilton Root, professor of Public Policy at George Mason.

The poor economic performance of the Philippines over the long term is a puzzle and an apparent anomaly for the region. The decline in the Philippines’ global position from the first part of the 20th century is particularly striking when viewed against the backdrop of rapid income gains in countries of East and Southeast Asia, countries the Philippines used to surpass in terms of physical and human capital. Professor Nelson seeks to solve this puzzle by advancing the hypothesis that the political and economic experience in the Philippines stands in closer proximity to those of countries in Latin America than in Southeast Asia, and that this is rooted in their deep similarity of histories and cultures.