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UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Social Consequences of the Financial Crisis in Asia

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AUTHOR James C. Knowles, Ernesto M. Pernia and Mary Racelis
ORGANIZATION Asian Development Bank
TYPE Working Paper
DATE 1999
TOPIC Economic crisis and recovery

This paper assesses the social impact of the Asian financial crisis, drawing on the results of studies in six countries, namely, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. The impacts appear to be less than were anticipated early in the crisis. However, it seems too early to draw conclusions about the eventual social consequences. First, the data on which the present study is based were collected at a relatively early stage in the crisis. There was a lag of several months between the economic effects and the social impacts of the crisis. Second, many of the coping mechanisms used by poor households to maintain current consumption levels are likely to have deleterious consequences in the future. Third, due to data limitations, the study is incomplete in some areas. For these reasons, the study should be considered at best as an interim assessment of the social impact of the crisis. Nevertheless, the study findings make it clear that further monitoring and assessment of the social impact are required. 

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