(DP 1979-02) The Role of Manpower Development in Postwar Asian Differential Growth

Harry T. Oshima


In trying to understand the differentials in the growth rates of GNP per capita during the postwar decades in the three regions of Asia (East, South-east, and South Asia), this paper singles out manpower development as one of the major forces responsible for the growth differentials. Manpower development is defined very broadly to include not only the levels of skills and education but also attitudes toward work and learning or work ethics and work motivation. The paper concentrates on the latter aspects rather than skill levels since very little attention has been given to them. A framework for analyzing these aspects is explored taking the formulation of work ethics to be mainly in the home, schools, mass media, in enterprises and in religious institutions. This framework is applied to the formation of Japanese work ethics with some comparisons of sources of U.S. and Southeast Asian work ethics. The paper concludes that there is a need for policies to develop work ethics of LDC's in a systematic way.

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