But this was not always the case. Look at the situation in 1960 (at this time, Vietnam was at war with itself, and joined the ASEAN only in 1995)
Reader, you will note that the Philippines is the kulelat of the Asean-5. But you can also see that there was a time (1960) when the country was number two only to Malaysia, whose per capita GDP was only 12% higher than the Philippines’, instead of the 225% higher that it is today ( 2021). Also, note that the Philippines had a higher per capita income than Thailand (37% higher) in 1960, while today its per capita income is less than half of Thailand’s. And we had per capita income 90% higher than Indonesia’s, where today the situation is reversed, and Indonesia’s per capita income is 46% higher than ours.
Malaysia left us behind, and outdistanced us more and more from the very beginning. Thailand caught up with us in 1983, when the Philippine economy collapsed due to its foreign debt crisis. Indonesia overtook us in 2003, while Vietnam overtook us in 2020 (these, in nominal terms)
Why did this happen? Simple: their GDP growth rates were higher than ours or the growth rates of their population were lower than ours (GDP per capita growth rates are equal to the growth rate of GDP minus the growth rate of the population). And what are the factors contributing to the differences in growth rates between countries? Sachs lists them as initial conditions , natural resources and geography, government policies/institutions, and demography. And you guessed it, Reader. Government policies and institutions account for from 70-89% of the growth differentials between countries. Which suggests that if we, the whole-of-society, want to help in this regard, we get involved in government ourselves (barangay elections), and we choose our leaders more wisely.
— to be continued –