Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Eshragh Motahar




investment, capital flows, recovery, economics, Southeast Asia


For the last two decades, the Southeast Asian countries have emerged as the fastest growing economies in the world, together with making significant progress in economic liberalization. The thesis studies the impact of economic openness on growth and volatility in the five leading Southeast Asia countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines. The results obtained include: 1) economic openness is a driving force for the rapid growth of the five countries during 1990-2010, 2) during transition into an open economy, volatility cannot be eliminated; however, if a country has sound macroeconomic policies, a reasonable ratio of foreign direct investment to total capital flows, and a diversified trading portfolio, the risk can be reduced, 3) evidence suggests that the “phoenix miracle” did happen in Indonesia after the East Asian crisis, which means the country was able to recover its output level long before it could recover its credit market, 4) in the case of Thailand and Malaysia, foreign capital flows, mostly in the form of foreign direct investment, were the driving force for their quick recovery subsequent to the East Asian crisis, 5) Vietnam is a late-comer for the process of economic liberalization, however, with progressive policy reforms during the last two decades, Vietnam has been able to bridge the gap between itself and the four other countries.