Exploring the political-economical influence of middle-income trap using open data

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The middle-income trap refers to a prolonged slowdown of economic growth faced by middle-income countries. These countries face challenges in advancing national economic development akin to high-income countries. For these countries to escape the middle-income trap, various fiscal stimulus and policy remedies have been injected to sustain the national economic growth momentum. Yet the prospects for a high-income acceleration remain bleak.

Past studies reveal some popular views around investment-driven growth, technology-centric development, and politically-mature institutions behind the middle-income trap. This study focuses on the East Asia and Pacific region, aligning with the proposition that the middle-income trap is "more politics than economics.” Strategic perceptions of geopolitical security facing this region differ between the northern and southern spheres and across contentions of the superpower politics, secessionist movements, and inter-ethnic disputes that pose threats to the national economy.

Open data was scrapped from the World Bank database API to capture the country names, regions, income classification, and geographical coordinates, including economic data on gross national income (GNI) and gross domestic product (GDP). Political risk assessment data was obtained from trusted PRS Group reports to measure internal conflict risk and investment profile risk on a 12-point Likert scale. Using R, data was joined to understand the middle-income trap from different perspectives through visualizations and statistical models. Data integrity was checked and missing data was treated. Results identify the middle-income countries trapped in the region and explain the influence of political risk factors on the national economy. Discussions are made to understand the political-economical influence of the middle-income trap in the East Asia and Pacific region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventConference of the Asian Regional Section of the International Association for Statistical Computing 2023 - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 6 Dec 20238 Dec 2023
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceConference of the Asian Regional Section of the International Association for Statistical Computing 2023
Abbreviated titleIASC-ARS 2023

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