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ADB Economics Working Paper Series

Cambodia: Rapid Growth with Institutional Constraints
Hal Hill and Jayant Menon No. 331 | January 2013

ADB Economics Working Paper Series

Cambodia: Rapid Growth with Institutional Constraints
Hal Hill and Jayant Menon No. 331 January 2013
Hal Hill is Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies, Australian National University. Jayant Menon is Lead Economist, Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank. We acknowledge with thanks the excellent research assistance of Anna Cassandra Melendez, the support of the ADB Cambodia resident mission, and very helpful discussions with friends and officials during our various visits to Cambodia. For helpful comments on an earlier draft, we thank Colin McKenzie, Takatoshi Ito, Shujiro Urata, Sothea Oum, Peter Warr, Hang Chuon Naron, Chan Sophal, Dyna Heng, Richard Pomfret, Yu Yongding, Jong Wha Lee and Marcus Noland. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank, or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent.

Asian Development Bank 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines www.adb.org © 2013 by Asian Development Bank January 2013 ISSN 1655-5252 Publication Stock No. WPS135358

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. By making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area, or by using the term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area. Note: In this publication, “$” refers to US dollars.

The ADB Economics Working Paper Series is a forum for stimulating discussion and eliciting feedback on ongoing and recently completed research and policy studies undertaken by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) staff, consultants, or resource persons. The series deals with key economic and development problems, particularly those facing the Asia and Pacific region; as well as conceptual, analytical, or methodological issues relating to project/program economic analysis, and statistical data and measurement. The series aims to enhance the knowledge on Asia’s development and policy challenges; strengthen analytical rigor and quality of ADB’s country partnership strategies, and its subregional and country operations; and improve the quality and availability of statistical data and development indicators for monitoring development effectiveness. The ADB Economics Working Paper Series is a quick-disseminating, informal publication whose titles could subsequently be revised for publication as articles in professional journals or chapters in books. The series is maintained by the Economics and Research Department.

Printed on recycled paper

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I. II. III. INTRODUCTION THE DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES A.  Rapid Growth and Structural Change B.  Falling Poverty, Rising Inequality C.  Macroeconomic Policy and Outcomes IV. CONCLUSIONS

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REFERENCES

ABSTRACT      
This paper examines Cambodia’s socioeconomic development since the early 1990s peace settlement. The country’s economic growth has arguably been the fastest among post-conflict societies, driven by the credible restoration of peace and security, large public and private capital inflows, economic openness, reasonably prudent macroeconomic management, and a dynamic, integrating neighborhood. A legacy of history and small size is that the government has limited policy space, although this has not necessarily retarded economic development. We also...
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