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Economies of South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements

Students who have successfully completed State, Politics and Economy in Modern South and Southeast Asia (BA South and Southeast Asian Studies, Year 1) will be admitted automatically. If you do not meet this criterion but would still like to take the course, please send a mail both to lecturer Dr. Rizal Shidiq and to study coordinator Sabine van Veelen–Blankenstein, explaining your interest in the economies of Southeast Asia and listing any relevant previous courses you have taken in Leiden or elsewhere. Students admitted to this course without having completed its prequel State, Politics and Economy in Modern South and Southeast Asia are advised to familiarize themselves before the start of the lectures and contact Dr. Rizal Shidiq for some preliminary readings.


This course is about a broad survey of today’s economies of South and Southeast Asia (SSEA) – one of the most economically vibrant regions in the world. Think about India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, or Vietnam, among others.
In the first part of this course, we will examine the basic profiles of SSEA economies. You will learn important skills to access main economic databases, retrieve and build simple dataset, and use it as evidence to support your arguments and analysis about the economy.
In the second part, we will analyze the long-run economic growth in the area. Why did some countries in the areas perform far better than the others? What account for a long run growth (or lack thereof) in SSEA economies in the last 30-40 years? In comparing growth performance among these economies, this part is structured around the standard determinants of long run economic growth: physical and human capital accumulation and technological change.
In the third part, we will explore the political economy and the social development effects of the long run economic growth in SSEA. What is the role of the government in these economies? Did the economic growth bring significant social development effects in the region? In particular, we will look at the issues of state intervention in the economy, corruption and rent-seeking, poverty and inequality, and health and education.
As a student, you are expected to work in group for reading report and class presentation; and individually for a final essay.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will acquire:

  • Empirical knowledge on the major features of the economic performance of South and Southeast Asian countries.

  • Analytical skills to apply simple economic concepts and data to understand what makes South and Southeast Asian economies differ in their economic performances, political economy, and social development.

  • Practical training for data analysis and oral and written presentation.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Performance in class: attendance, presentations, participation (60%)

  • Final essay of 4000 words (40%)

The final essay is written in two stages: a first draft version which will be commented during mini seminar on the last week of the semester and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version. The final mark is made up of the weighted average of the essay and the performance in class
In order to pass the course, students need a passing mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the course as a whole AND the final essay.


The final mark is made up of the weighted average of the essay and the performance in class. In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of “5.50” (=6) or higher.


Resit can be administered only if student completes the requirement of class presentation and final essay submission. The resit essay must be in a different topic.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Selected recent articles on the economies of South and Southeast Asia. The complete list of articles will be announced in the first lecture.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website