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A General Theory of Economic Development

Towards a Capitalist Manifesto Sung-Hee Jwa, Chairman, the President Park Chung Hee Memorial Foundation, South Korea
This book makes the bold attempt at proposing a new general theory of economic development. The main premise is that economic institutions and policies must embody ‘economic discrimination’ if there is to be any chance of real economic development. By economic discrimination, the author means ‘treating differences differently’ by selecting and supporting economic entities and behaviour that contribute positively to the economy. The book identifies markets, government and corporations as the ‘holy trinity of economic development’, that is, the three most important institutions that must work together via economic discrimination to steer the economy towards real transformative progress. The book also warns against the current trend of economic egalitarianism or ‘not treating differences differently’ because it destroys economic incentives and results in an array of economic problems including growth stagnation.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78536 798 4
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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Development
  • Asian Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Asian Development
  • Development Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Asian Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Institutional Economics
This book makes the bold attempt at proposing a new general theory of economic development founded on the fact-based perspective of economic behaviour. The main premise is that economic institutions and policies must embody ‘economic discrimination’ if there is to be any chance of real economic development. By economic discrimination, the author means ‘treating differences differently’ by selecting and supporting economic entities and behaviour that contribute positively to the economy.

By presenting a general theory that goes beyond mainstream and ad hoc economic theories, Sung-Hee Jwa provides a new way to look at capitalism beyond the Marxian interpretation, explaining why some economies develop and others don’t. The book identifies markets, government and corporations as the ‘holy trinity of economic development’, that is, the three most important institutions that must work together via economic discrimination to steer the economy towards real transformative progress. It also warns against the current trend of economic egalitarianism or ‘not treating differences differently’ because it destroys economic incentives and results in an array of economic problems including growth stagnation and worsening income distribution.

The theory presented in this book and its implications for development management will be an invaluable resource for development economists, scholars, instructors, researchers and policymakers.
‘A General Theory of Economic Development is both ambitious and provoking. It sets out to specify the drivers of economic development, challenge mainstream economic theories, consolidate the Eastern and Western developmental experiences, combine economic and political perspectives, better integrate business management and economics for the goal of economic growth, give advice on public policies for sustainable economic development, and identify and solve the causes for economic polarization and growth stagnation. Author Sung-Hee Jwa tackles this hefty agenda with confidence and takes a strong stance on many contentious issues.’
– Nelly Stratieva, Asian Journal of Law and Society
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Peculiarities of economic development 3. Critique of existing theories and a new beginning 4. Western extended economic development 5. Eastern condensed economic development 6. Corporations in economic development 7. A General Theory of Economic Development 8. A positive theory of political economy with applications 9. Concluding Chapter Index