East Asian Flying Geese Paradigm and Product Space

Nimesh Salike, Willem Thorbecke, Chen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


East Asian industrialization and economic development are characterized by a pattern called the flying geese paradigm, whereby one economy takes a lead in industrialization and other economies in the region follows the leader (Akamatsu, 1962). In this paper, we postulate that this typical pattern of industrialization could also be explained by a more recent narration based on the product space, advanced by Hidalgo and Hausmann (2009). Japan, as a lead goose, is at the technological frontier in the region and consistently ranks first in the Hidalgo-Hausmann economic complexity index. This is followed by subsequent shifts in the production structure and export basket of other economies in the region over the years. The individual economy product space suggests that these economies successfully followed their succeeding leader and moved their production base to the core. The export basket for these economies varied from natural resources in the earlier years to textiles and footwear in later periods and finally to
electronics and automobiles. China’s product space is an exemplary case on successful diversification of products and industrialization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Pages (from-to)24- 43
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Asia-Pacific Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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