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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter of the Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems presents a synthesis and summary of the preceding chapters. It undertakes an institutional comparison of thirteen major Asian business systems—China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam—with one another and five major Western economies—France, Germany, Sweden, UK, and the USA. We find five major types of Asian business systems: (post-)socialist, advanced city, emerging South-East Asian, advanced North-East Asian, and Japanese. Except Japan, all Asian forms of capitalism are distinct from Western types. We conclude that the Varieties of Capitalism dichotomy is not applicable to Asia; the existing major frameworks do not capture all Asian types of capitalism; and Asian business systems (except Japan) cannot be understood through categories identified in the West. Our analysis further suggests a need to invest in research on social capital, culture, informality, and multiplexity.

Keywords: Asia, business systems, varieties of capitalism, social capital, culture, informality, multiplexity

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