Summary and Info
In the early postwar years, the Philippines seemed poised for long-term economic success; within the region, only Japan had a higher standard of living. By the early 1990s, however, the country was dismissed as a perennial aspirant to the ranks of newly industrializing economies, unable to convert its substantial developmental assets into developmental success. Major reforms of the mid-1990s bring new hope, explains Paul D. Hutchcroft, but accompanying economic gains remain relatively modest and short-lived. What has gone wrong? The Philippines should have all the ingredients for developmental success: tremendous entrepreneurial talents; a well-educated and anglophone workforce; a rich endowment of natural resources; a vibrant community of economists and development specialists; and abundant overseas assistance. Hutchcroft attributes the laggard economic performance to long-standing deficiencies in the Philippine political sphere. The country's experience, he asserts, illuminates the relationship between political and economic development in the modern Third World. Through careful examination of interactions between the state and the major families of the oligarchy in the banking sector since 1960, Hutchcroft shows the political obstacles to Philippine development. "Booty capitalism," he explains, emerged from relations between a patrimonial state and a predatory oligarchy. Hutchcroft concludes by examining the capacity of recent reform efforts to encourage transformation toward a political, economic order more responsive to the developmental needs of the Philippine nation as a whole.