From Economic Controls to Export Expansion in Postwar Taiwan: 1946-1960

Author Name Tsong-Min WU (National Taiwan University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2016 16-E-028
Research Project Historical Study on Japan's Trade and Industrial Policy: From an international perspective
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During 1955-2000, Taiwan's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was the highest in the world. In the first half of the 20th century, the Japanese colonial government laid the basis for economic growth by establishing a modern economic institution in Taiwan. After taking over Taiwan in 1945, however, the Kuomintang (KMT) government adopted economic control policies which caused hyperinflation during 1946-1949. The control policies were continued after the KMT government retreated to Taiwan in late 1949. As a result, economic growth was stagnant. Fortunately, deregulations were initiated in the late 1950s, and Taiwan was able to rapidly expand its export sector. Using the textile industry as an important case, this paper analyzes what policy changes were critical in fostering the postwar export expansion and economic growth.