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#楼主# 2020-8-25

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亚洲最早的工业国家菲律宾为什么会陷入贫穷陷阱?Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a poverty trap?

菲律宾是亚洲最早开始工业化的国家,在新加坡经济刚起步时,菲律宾就已跻身亚洲发达国家的行列。然而到了80年代新加坡经济起飞时,菲律宾却被远远甩在了后面。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(1)
在19世纪末菲律宾群岛即将独立成为一个国家,但是它的前途却不太明朗。西班牙殖民者的魔掌从1521年开始深入菲律宾群岛,由于当地居民的坚决抵抗,到了19世纪末西班牙才占领菲律宾的大部分地区。在将菲律宾群岛变为自己的殖民地之后,西班牙实行野蛮、残暴的封建统治。在接下来的近200年间,菲律宾人不堪残酷剥削和专横压迫,爆发了100多次起义。虽然这些起义均以失败告终,但其炫耀了人权、自由和民主的思想已经深入人心。
到了19世纪菲律宾人的民族意识开始逐渐觉醒。1872年菲律宾爆发了首次以打倒西班牙为目的的起义。在起义被镇压之后3位宣扬民主、自由思想的菲律宾律师被残酷的处死,这也拉开了长达20年的宣传运动的序幕。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(2)
1986年菲律宾国父黎刹创作的两部政治小说激起了菲律宾人民强烈的民族认同感。此时菲律宾人最渴求的无非就是民主、国家独立。但是正当革命运动向前发展的时候,革命团体内部却发生了分歧。菲律宾地下革命团体卡蒂普南于1896年发动了反西班牙革命。卡蒂普南的领袖博尼法西奥是一个勇敢、善良,却在政治斗争方面稍微有些天真的人。
革命团体中的资产阶级地主分子通过一系列阴谋活动排挤博尼法西奥,并帮助他们的代表阿吉纳多当选为革命政府总统。博尼法西奥也被抓住以反政府罪处决,革命领导权落到阿吉纳多集团的手中之后,革命的力量大为削弱,西班牙军队趁机大举反攻,革命军事行动不断受到挫折。
1897年阿吉纳多政府与西班牙殖民政府议和,签订《边那巴多条约》革命政府就此解散。1898年在美国的帮助下,菲律宾人夺得了他们渴求已久的独立,但是他们并没有摆脱殖民地的命运。因此在整个20世纪上半叶,在被美国和日本占领的50年间,这个群岛一直在为实现真正的独立而奋斗。但与之形成鲜明对比的是刚刚跨入21世纪的菲律宾,在过去50年的几次危机的洗礼下,有着更加阴暗、更加阴郁的前景。
20世纪50年代开始的进口和外汇管制,刺激了60年代寡头和缺乏竞争力的进口替代工业的兴起。70年代的戒严令严重破坏了这个国家的道德结构。80年代政治动荡不安,政变失败时有发生。90年代初电力严重短缺和90年代末的亚洲金融危机,给这个国家带来了痛苦的混乱和经济衰退。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(3)
本世纪的头几年,对前总统埃斯特拉达和阿罗约发起的弹劾运动也给这个国家带来了长久的政治动荡。菲律宾是除东帝汶以外,亚洲唯一的天主教国家,因此菲律宾的爱国人士常常自省,为什么这一切会发生在这样一个被主眷顾的国家?发生在这样一个相信自己受到特别祝福的民族身上?
首先我们要明白的一点是,发展不是一个必然的进程,而只是一种可能性。一个国家可能增长,也可能停滞。此外发展中国家虽然有着后发优势,但国家的发展并没有万能的成功公式。有些政策可能适用于某些国家,有些政策可能适用于某些时期,但没有一套政策适用于所有国家或适用于所有时期。
比如被波兰视为蜜糖的休克疗法却成为俄罗斯的砒霜。再比如进口替代政策,该政策在韩国、台湾经济发展初期大放光彩,却成为阻碍菲律宾发展的因素之一。在政治独立之后,东南亚国家为了迅速摆脱外国资本的控制,发展国民经济实现经济独立,普遍采用了进口替代工业化战略,想依靠工业化带动经济多元化发展。
在50年代进口替代战略成效显著,让菲律宾成为东南亚增长最快的地区之一。但正如前文所说,国家的发展没有万能公式,菲律宾企图以一招打遍天下显然是不可能。
首先由于菲律宾贫富差距过大,绝大多数劳动人民生活在贫困线之下,导致国内市场狭小,制约了制造业的高速发展。到了60年代初,菲律宾进口替代工业已明显出现过饱和现象,工厂普遍开工不足。其次菲律宾的进口替代工业严重依赖进口零部件和机器设备。
60年代是国际社会经济发展的黄金时期,但菲律宾政府不仅没有抓住有利条件及时改变发展战略,将进口替代向出口导向转换,反而变本加厉地加强关税保护继续发展进口替代工业。在一众东南亚国家中,菲律宾的进口替代战略持续时间最长达23年之久。结果原本发展较快的菲律宾反而落到其邻国后面。当然除政策方面的原因之外,还有其他的原因。
但在我们开始进一步的话题之前,我们先来看两张表格。表一是全球范围内那些经济增长奇迹地区和经济衰退地区,1960至2000年的相对生活水平。
表二则是选定一些国家和地区,计算其相对生活水平的平均年增长率。两张表对于美国为参考国家原因有三点:
1、美国的增长率自70年代以来就一直保持稳定
2、美国一直是世界上最富有的国家之一
3、美国是位于世界科技前沿的国家
从表一和表二可以得出一个重要的结论,就是经济增长不是一个不可阻挡的过程。一个国家的相对生活水平可能会随着时间的推移而改善或者是恶化。
表一中香港的相对生活水平从1960年的18.9%上升到2000年的80.9%,韩国从14.8%提高到57.1%。经济衰退和经济奇迹一样令人印象深刻。一个典型的案例就是委内瑞拉,1960年他是世界上最富有的国家之一,其相对生活水平是83.5%。到了2000年其相对水平下降到27.5%。
另一个典型的例子就是赞比亚,其相对生活水平从1960年的11%,下降到2000年的4.1%。然后我们再说回菲律宾,菲律宾的相对生活水平从1960年的17.4%下降到了2000年的13%。现在菲律宾是亚洲经济衰退的典型,尤其是在邻国高级增长的光芒之下,这种衰退尤为明显。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(4)
从1960年到2000年东盟五国的相对生活水平如图三所示。1960年菲律宾还处于头部区间,排在新加坡和马来西亚之后。但到了2000年菲律宾已经垫底,其相对生活水平甚至低于1960年的水平。同时该国的增长速度也一直无法超越发达国家。更能说明问题的是有迹象表明,这种下降从上世纪80年代初就已经开始了。此后经过历届民选政府的执政,这种趋势一直没有得到扭转。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(5)
有趣的一点是衰退发生的时期正好是处于马科斯执政后期。马科斯执政前后期的区别在于,后期的腐败垄断比前期更为普遍。在前期腐败是只有总统、亲戚和密友才能享受的特权,而在后期则变成了任何有野心的人都可以参与的事业。这就是菲律宾经济增长自那时起长期表现不佳的主要原因。
在增长经济学中有一个非常重要的理论是,长期且持续的增长能带动生活水平大幅上升。以香港和韩国为例,1960年两地的相对生活水平差距为4.1%,但就是因为香港增长速度比韩国高0.2%,香港2000年的相对生活水平达到了89%,比韩国的57.1%高出23.8%。
尽管如此与菲律宾比起来,韩国的表现仍然是可圈可点。1960年至2000年期间,菲律宾的增长率为负的0.7%,这也难怪2000年菲律宾的相对生活水平只有13%。菲律宾发生经济衰退的原因在于他们的社会基础设施,也就是包括社会规范、法律、政府政策,以及执行这些政策的正式或非正式的机构。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(6)
这是因为一个国家的基础设施决定了其公民积累技能和企业积累资本的经济环境,而这两者都是创造额外价值所必须的条件。良好的社会基础设施是构建良好经济环境的基础,这种经济环境都能支持生产活动,鼓励资本和技能的积累,促进技术转让,提高发明的积极性,从而提高人们的生活水平。
相较之下糟糕的社会基础设施则是笼罩在经济上的雾霾,其会通过盗窃、侵占、盘剥、征用或没收、腐败等方式,使资源从生产性用途上转移。糟糕的社会基础设施之所以如此不利于经济增长,是因为生产活动很容易遭受掠夺。这就好比古代的土地兼并,如果农田可以随意征用,那么人们就会以掠夺土地资源替代耕种。
生活分享-Why did the Philippines, the earliest industrial country in Asia, fall into a...-菲律宾中文网(7)
在这种情况下,一部分人就成为了对产出没有贡献的土地掠夺者。更糟糕的是这还会引起恶性循环。土地掠夺者的成功会使其倾向于投资,提升其掠夺能力,使他们在掠夺方面更加高效。这样一来,贫穷的农民就不得不把时间浪费在抵御土地掠夺者上,花在耕种上的时间自然就会被压缩,农民的积极性也会因此受到打击。他们会变得只专注于自身利益,而对社会和政治问题不感兴趣,这样也会削弱国家的社会凝聚力。
相比之下如果有良好的社会基础设施,经济中有生产力的成员就能够从他们的投资和努力工作中获得全部收益。当他们以提高生产效率为独资目的时,一个良性的循环就此产生。然而一个国家的社会基础设施的质量又取决于其文化、历史,同时受到地理、气候和环境因素的制约。
在过去的10000年中,各个大陆这些条件的差异是当前富国和穷国格局的重要决定因素。正是因为地理、气候和环境因素影响了可供驯化的动植物物种的多样性和密度,进而决定了能否实现持续的粮食生产过剩。这是复杂社会发展的必要因素。此外,同样的因素限制了早期人口迁移和技术扩散的方向。目前这种情况多数发生在东西方向的欧亚大陆,因为地理上的障碍比较容易克服。而且由于在同一纬度,农作物生产和牲畜养殖以及技术应用所需要的适应性调整比较少,同样的一系列因素甚至导致了文明的衰落。
比如北非著名的新月沃土,这片区域的生态环境非常脆弱,该地区最初被森林覆盖,但由于土地被开垦用于农业,树木被砍伐用于建筑,草地被牧民过度放牧。随之而来的使该地区的降雨量迅速减少,植被的生长速度跟不上被消耗的速度。最终强大繁荣的古巴比伦消散在了历史的长河中。
另一方面对于有被殖民历史的国家来说,社会基础设施的质量还会受到宗主国动机的影响。在人口稀少的地区,同样的气候条件西欧的移民社会更有可能成功建立宗主国。高质量的社会基础设施也会在新的殖民社会中延续下来。新兴国家的社会基础设施薄弱,恰好就是因为在被殖民时期存在着执法不力、腐败猖獗、精英夺权以及政局动荡等问题。
换句话说,这些有缺陷的殖民制度遗留下的历史问题让这些国家在获得独立后很长一段时间内,仍被这些问题继续支援着经济表现。这也是为什么二战之后,被殖民过的国家更有可能出现经济动荡和经济危机。
近年来菲律宾的经济有所改善,这得益于它有非常多的廉价劳动力。目前菲律宾约有1亿7百万的人口,是东南亚第二个人口过亿的国家。GDP是衡量一个经济体发展水平最重要的数据之一,其主要取决于有多少钱在交易?流通货币交易量越大,经济就越繁荣,生活质量也就越好。而更多的人口就意味着有更多的工作机会,更多的消费者,更多的货币在市场上流通,也意味着更高的GDP。因为更多的人口就意味着更多的技能组合,有更多的专业知识、有更多的竞争和更多的机会。这也是为什么人口稠密的城市比农村经济更发达的主要原因之一。
在通常情况下,随着国家经济发展,人口总量会达到一个峰值,然后趋于平稳。日本就是一个非常极端的例子,该国人口已经连续九年出现负增长。但即使是发展中国家,比如泰国虽然他们的人口仍在继续增长,但增长速度已经慢了许多。在半个世纪之前,泰国平均每1个妇女就有6个孩子,而现在这个数据下降到了1.5个。这意味着泰国的人口将会出现倒退。菲律宾的人口仍在不断增长,近10年菲律宾的出生率约为2.9,该国是除了非洲国家之外出生率最高的国家之一。
在半个世纪之前,人们之所以生这么多孩子是为了提高婴儿的存活率。而随着医疗水平的提升,发展中国家的出生率自然就会慢下来。菲律宾出生率高,自然不是因为医疗水平低。而是因为他们有大约80%的人口都是天主教的信徒,菲律宾妇女的避孕率只有40%。现在亚洲很多国家都在控制人口增长的速度,这就说明人口持续增长并不是一个好消息。人口过多会导致城市过度拥挤,特别是菲律宾的平均年龄仅有25岁,这意味着有非常多的年轻人需要工作。目前菲律宾经济也非常依赖出口市场,换句话说就是国内每年创造的工作岗位非常有限,过多的人竞争同一个工作岗位,也就意味着劳动力非常廉价。
除此之外菲律宾还是世界第三大英语语系国家,国民英语基本识字率高达95%。这一点可以最大限度地实现人口红利的价值。菲律宾一直是西方国家主要的外包伙伴之一,2016年菲律宾外包呼叫中心的总收入就达到了250亿美元,创造了130万个直接就业岗位,320万个间接就业岗位。毕竟同样的工作,美国人的时薪是15美元,而菲律宾人只要4美元,虽然工资水平差了将近4倍,但在菲律宾则足以让一个人成为中产阶级。菲律宾的未来有希望吗?对于这个问题,我只能说菲律宾发展潜力巨大,但其目前仍然存在着天灾不断、避孕措施难,家族政治根深,裙带关系很深的问题,而且这些问题大多都是历史遗留问题,而这种问题恰恰是很难被彻底解决的。但若是不能进行深刻彻底的社会改革,潜力终究也只会是潜力。

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to begin industrialization. When Singapore’s economy just started, the Philippines had already been among the ranks of developed countries in Asia. However, when Singapore's economy took off in the 1980s, the Philippines was far behind.
At the end of the 19th century, the Philippine Islands were about to become independent as a country, but its future was not clear. The clutches of the Spanish colonists began to penetrate into the Philippine Islands in 1521. Due to the resolute resistance of the local residents, Spain did not occupy most of the Philippines until the end of the 19th century. After turning the Philippine Islands into its own colony, Spain practiced barbaric and brutal feudal rule. In the next 200 years, the Filipinos were unbearable for cruel exploitation and arbitrary oppression, and more than 100 uprisings broke out. Although these uprisings all ended in failure, their ideas of showing off human rights, freedom and democracy have taken root in the hearts of the people.
In the 19th century, the national consciousness of the Filipinos began to gradually awaken. In 1872, the Philippines broke out for the first uprising aimed at overthrowing Spain. After the uprising was suppressed, three Filipino lawyers who advocated democracy and freedom were brutally executed, which also kicked off a 20-year propaganda campaign.
In 1986, the two political novels created by the founding father of the Philippines, Rizal, aroused a strong sense of national identity among the Filipino people. At this time, what Filipinos desire most is democracy and national independence. But while the revolutionary movement was moving forward, there were differences within the revolutionary group. Katipunan, an underground revolutionary group in the Philippines, launched an anti-Spanish revolution in 1896. Bonifacio, the leader of Katipunan, is a brave and kind, but slightly naive person in political struggle.
The bourgeois landlords in the revolutionary groups used a series of conspiracy activities to exclude Bonifacio and helped their representative Aguinaldo to be elected as the president of the revolutionary government. Bonifacio was also caught and executed for anti-government crimes. After the revolutionary leadership fell into the hands of the Aguinaldo group, the power of the revolution was greatly weakened. The Spanish army took the opportunity to counterattack, and the revolutionary military operations continued to suffer setbacks.
In 1897, the Aguinaldo government negotiated a peace with the Spanish colonial government, and the revolutionary government was dissolved by signing the "Treaty of Penabad". With the help of the United States in 1898, the Filipinos won their long-awaited independence, but they did not escape the fate of a colony. So throughout the first half of the 20th century, during the 50 years occupied by the United States and Japan, the archipelago has been struggling to achieve true independence. But in sharp contrast, the Philippines, which has just entered the 21st century, has a darker and more gloomy outlook under the baptism of several crises in the past 50 years.
Import and foreign exchange controls that began in the 1950s stimulated the rise of oligarchs and uncompetitive import substitution industries in the 1960s. The martial law in the 1970s severely damaged the moral structure of this country. In the 1980s, political turmoil and failure of coups occurred from time to time. The severe power shortage in the early 1990s and the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s brought painful chaos and economic recession to this country.
In the first few years of this century, the impeachment campaign against former presidents Estrada and Arroyo also brought long-term political turmoil to the country. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia besides East Timor. Therefore, patriots in the Philippines often reflect on themselves. Why did all this happen in such a country favored by the Lord? Happened to a nation that believes that it is particularly blessed?
The first thing we have to understand is that development is not an inevitable process, but only a possibility. A country may grow or it may stagnate. In addition, although developing countries have late-mover advantages, there is no universal formula for success in national development. Some policies may apply to certain countries, and some policies may apply to certain periods, but there is no set of policies applicable to all countries or all periods.
For example, shock therapy, regarded as honey by Poland, has become Russia's arsenic. Another example is the import substitution policy, which shined in the early stages of economic development in South Korea and Taiwan, but became one of the factors hindering the development of the Philippines. After political independence, in order to quickly get rid of the control of foreign capital and develop the national economy to achieve economic independence, Southeast Asian countries generally adopted the strategy of import substitution industrialization, and wanted to rely on industrialization to drive economic diversification.
In the 1950s, the import substitution strategy achieved remarkable results, making the Philippines one of the fastest growing regions in Southeast Asia. However, as mentioned above, there is no universal formula for the development of the country, and it is obviously impossible for the Philippines to try to beat the world with one move.
First of all, due to the large gap between the rich and the poor in the Philippines, the vast majority of working people live below the poverty line, resulting in a narrow domestic market and restricting the rapid development of manufacturing. By the early 1960s, the Philippine import substitution industry had obviously been oversaturated, and factories were generally under-operated. Secondly, the Philippines' import substitution industry relies heavily on imported parts and machinery.
The 1960s was the golden age of international social and economic development, but the Philippine government not only failed to seize the favorable conditions to change its development strategy in a timely manner, and switched from import substitution to export-oriented, but instead intensified tariff protection and continued to develop import substitution industries. Among the Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines’ import substitution strategy lasted for the longest 23 years. As a result, the Philippines, which had developed rapidly, fell behind its neighbors. Of course, there are other reasons besides policy reasons.
But before we start further topics, let's look at two tables. Table 1 shows the relative living standards from 1960 to 2000 in areas with miraculous economic growth and economic recessions around the world.
Table 2 selects some countries and regions to calculate the average annual growth rate of their relative living standards. There are three reasons why the two tables are reference countries for the United States:
1. The growth rate of the United States has remained stable since the 1970s
2. The United States has always been one of the richest countries in the world
3. The United States is a country at the forefront of world technology
An important conclusion can be drawn from Table 1 and Table 2 that economic growth is not an unstoppable process. The relative living standards of a country may improve or deteriorate over time.
In Table 1, the relative standard of living in Hong Kong rose from 18.9% in 1960 to 80.9% in 2000, and in South Korea from 14.8% to 57.1%. The economic recession is as impressive as the economic miracle. A typical case is Venezuela, which was one of the richest countries in the world in 1960, with a relative standard of living of 83.5%. By 2000, its relative level had dropped to 27.5%.
Another typical example is Zambia, where the relative standard of living dropped from 11% in 1960 to 4.1% in 2000. Then let’s go back to the Philippines. The relative standard of living in the Philippines dropped from 17.4% in 1960 to 13% in 2000. The Philippines is now a typical Asian economic recession, especially in the light of high-level growth in neighboring countries, this recession is particularly obvious.
The relative living standards of the five ASEAN countries from 1960 to 2000 are shown in Figure 3. The Philippines was still at the top of the range in 1960, behind Singapore and Malaysia. But by 2000, the Philippines had been at the bottom, and its relative living standards were even lower than in 1960. At the same time, the country's growth rate has been unable to surpass developed countries. What is more telling is that there are signs that this decline has begun since the early 1980s. Since then, through successive democratically elected governments, this trend has not been reversed.
The interesting point is that the recession occurred during the late Marcos administration. The difference between the early and late periods of Marcos's administration is that the corruption monopoly in the later period is more common than in the earlier period. In the early stage, corruption is a privilege that only the president, relatives and close friends can enjoy, but in the later stage, it becomes a cause that any ambitious person can participate in. This is the main reason for the long-term underperformance of Philippine economic growth since then.
A very important theory in growth economics is that long-term and sustained growth can drive a substantial increase in living standards. Take Hong Kong and South Korea as examples. In 1960, the relative living standard gap between the two places was 4.1%, but it was because Hong Kong’s growth rate was 0.2% higher than South Korea’s. In 2000, Hong Kong’s relative living standard reached 89%, which was higher than South Korea’s 57.1%. 23.8%.
Nevertheless, compared with the Philippines, South Korea's performance is still remarkable. From 1960 to 2000, the growth rate of the Philippines was negative 0.7%. It is no wonder that the relative standard of living in the Philippines in 2000 was only 13%. The reason for the economic recession in the Philippines lies in their social infrastructure, which includes social norms, laws, government policies, and formal or informal institutions that implement these policies.
This is because a country’s infrastructure determines the economic environment for its citizens to accumulate skills and enterprises to accumulate capital, both of which are necessary conditions for creating additional value. A good social infrastructure is the foundation for building a good economic environment. This economic environment can support production activities, encourage the accumulation of capital and skills, promote technology transfer, and increase the enthusiasm for invention, thereby improving people's living standards.
In contrast, the poor social infrastructure is the haze shrouded in the economy, which will transfer resources from productive uses through theft, embezzlement, exploitation, expropriation or confiscation, and corruption. The reason poor social infrastructure is so detrimental to economic growth is that production activities are easily plundered. This is like ancient land mergers. If farmland can be requisitioned at will, then people will plunder land resources instead of farming.
In this case, some people become land grabbers who do not contribute to output. Worse still, this will cause a vicious circle. The success of land predators will make them inclined to invest, enhance their looting ability, and make them more efficient in plundering. In this way, poor farmers will have to waste their time resisting land grabbers, and the time spent on farming will naturally be compressed, and the enthusiasm of farmers will also suffer. They will become only focused on their own interests and not interested in social and political issues, which will also weaken the country’s social cohesion.
In contrast, if there is a good social infrastructure, the productive members of the economy can get all the benefits from their investment and hard work. When they take the sole proprietorship to improve production efficiency, a virtuous circle arises. However, the quality of a country's social infrastructure depends on its culture, history, and is restricted by geography, climate and environmental factors.
In the past 10,000 years, the differences in these conditions on various continents have been an important determinant of the current pattern of rich and poor countries. It is precisely because of geographic, climatic and environmental factors that affect the diversity and density of domesticated animal and plant species that determine whether sustainable food surplus can be achieved. This is a necessary factor for complex social development. In addition, the same factors restricted the direction of early population migration and technological diffusion. At present, most of this situation occurs in Eurasia in the east-west direction, because geographical obstacles are easier to overcome. Moreover, due to the fact that crop production, livestock breeding, and technology application require relatively few adaptation adjustments at the same latitude, the same series of factors have even led to the decline of civilization.
For example, the famous fertile crescent in North Africa. The ecological environment in this area is very fragile. The area was initially covered by forest, but as the land was reclaimed for agriculture, trees were cut down for construction, and the grassland was overgrazing by herders. As a result, the rainfall in the area decreased rapidly, and the growth rate of vegetation could not keep up with the rate of consumption. Finally, the powerful and prosperous Babylon dissipated in the long river of history.
On the other hand, for countries with a history of colonization, the quality of social infrastructure will also be affected by the motives of the sovereign state. In sparsely populated areas, immigrant societies in Western Europe with the same climatic conditions are more likely to successfully establish a suzerainty. High-quality social infrastructure will continue in the new colonial society. The weak social infrastructure of emerging countries happened to be due to problems such as weak law enforcement, rampant corruption, elite seizures of power, and political instability during the colonial period.
In other words, the historical problems left by these defective colonial systems have allowed these countries to continue to be supported by these problems in their economic performance for a long time after gaining independence. This is why after World War II, countries that have been colonized are more likely to experience economic turmoil and economic crisis.
The economy of the Philippines has improved in recent years, thanks to its large amount of cheap labor. The Philippines currently has a population of approximately 117 million, making it the second country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 100 million. GDP is one of the most important data to measure the development level of an economy, and it mainly depends on how much money is being traded? The greater the trading volume of currency in circulation, the more prosperous the economy and the better the quality of life. And more population means more job opportunities, more consumers, more currency circulating in the market, and higher GDP. Because more population means more skill sets, more professional knowledge, more competition and more opportunities. This is also one of the main reasons why densely populated cities are more developed than rural economies.
Under normal circumstances, as the country's economy develops, the total population will reach a peak and then stabilize. Japan is a very extreme example. Its population has experienced negative growth for nine consecutive years. But even in developing countries, such as Thailand, although their population continues to grow, the growth rate has been much slower. Half a century ago, Thailand had an average of 6 children for every woman, but now this number has dropped to 1.5. This means that the population of Thailand will regress. The population of the Philippines is still growing. In the past 10 years, the birth rate of the Philippines is about 2.9. The country has one of the highest birth rates outside of Africa.
Half a century ago, the reason why people gave birth to so many children was to improve the survival rate of babies. With the improvement of medical standards, the birth rate in developing countries will naturally slow down. The high birth rate in the Philippines is naturally not because of the low medical level. But because about 80% of their population are Catholic believers, the contraceptive rate of Filipino women is only 40%. Many countries in Asia are now controlling the rate of population growth, which shows that sustained population growth is not good news. Overpopulation will lead to overcrowding in cities, especially the average age of the Philippines is only 25 years old, which means that there are a lot of young people need to work. At present, the Philippine economy is also very dependent on the export market. In other words, the number of jobs created every year in the country is very limited. Too many people compete for the same job, which means that labor is very cheap.
In addition, the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world, with a basic English literacy rate of 95%. This can maximize the value of the demographic dividend. The Philippines has always been one of the main outsourcing partners of Western countries. In 2016, the total revenue of the outsourcing call center in the Philippines reached 25 billion U.S. dollars, creating 1.3 million direct jobs and 3.2 million indirect jobs. After all, for the same job, Americans earn 15 dollars an hour, while Filipinos only need 4 dollars. Although the salary level is nearly four times worse, it is enough to make a person in the Philippines.


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