Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 152: Educational Reforms & Challenges in Southeast Asia

Fredrik Sjöholm ()
Additional contact information
Fredrik Sjöholm: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Southeast Asia’s traditional export of relatively low-skilled products is facing increased competition. There is therefore a general need to upgrade production in the region, which requires a more skilled and educated labour force. Historically, education has not been emphasized in Southeast Asia but there are indications that this is about to change. This paper starts with a general discussion on the educational situation and changes in the region. It continues with a close look at three ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – with special focus on some of the obstacles for reforms, such as financial and political constraints, that are present in these countries.

Keywords: Education; Southeast Asia; Structural Change; Economic Crisis

JEL-codes: I20; I28; O15

30 pages, October 11, 2002

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