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Online publication date:
October 2015
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The principal cause of the 1930s depression in Southeast Asia lay outside the region - through a sharp contraction in demand for the region's major commodity exports. But it had important internal causes too: an oversupply of primary commodities and an increasing scarcity of new agricultural land leading to higher rents and lower wages, rising indebtedness and increasing landlessness. This work thoroughly analyses the pre-war depression. It also looks at the changes in the basic structures of the economies of Southeast Asia that were of long-term importance, such as the role of the state in the economy. The authors also draw similarities and contrasts between the 1930s depression and the 1990s Asian crisis.

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