The De-industrialization of Taiwan: A Spatial Perspective

  • Roger Mark Selya University of Cincinnati
Keywords: De-Industrialization, Direct Foreign Investment


Over the period 1986 to 2001 some 235,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in Taiwan. As such the Taiwanese economy met the classical definition of de-industrialization. However, when data derived from the successive Industrial and Commercial Census mapped for all 318 cities and townships (hsiang and chen) a more varied and positive view of the structural changes in manufacturing in Tiwan emerges. For example, 18.24 percent of the areal units had experienced no declines in manufacturing employment as late as 1996; similarly, 14.46 percent of all units reported net gains in employment through 1996. In addition, 81.33 percent of all areal units experienced increases in both average salaries in manufacturing and in value added. It appears then that industrial restructuring rather then de-industrialization is a better perspective through which Taiwan's most recent economic challenges should be viewed. This evaluation is corroborated by changing patterns of Taiwanese exports. Future research on changing patterns of regional specialization in Taiwanese manufacturing sector will further our understanding of the restructuring process.


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