Recode is hosting a live conversation with the author of a new book, The Land End Catalog: How to Live in the Land of the Lonesome, about how the Philippines can be the cheapest place to live in the developed world.
The conversation will begin at 11 a.m.
PT on Tuesday, Jan. 21, on Recode.com.
In the book, Land End, author R. A. T. Dutton argues that the Philippines has “no natural resources or significant human capital to support growth.”
This is why the Philippines, he argues, has to focus on a “culture of poverty.”
He goes on to argue that the Philippine government should focus on developing its infrastructure.
For example, he points out that, “we have one of world’s best airports, we have a huge port, and we have one-fifth of the world’s population.”
In a conversation with Recode, Dutton also talks about how a number of factors can lead to a country’s ability to be a cost-effective place to do business.
He mentions the fact that, despite the fact there are some countries that have “high levels of inequality, or even higher inequality,” such as China, Singapore, and Vietnam, they all have “more efficient economies, and they all tend to have more opportunities to attract investment.”
But this is not necessarily the case for other countries.
For example, Dungong, the Philippines’ capital city, is known for having “great access to capital,” but the country has “a high concentration of land that makes it difficult for foreign companies to find investors.”
According to Dutton, there are three reasons why this is the case.
The first is the Philippines having a strong economic model.
This model is based on the Philippines being “one of the fastest growing economies in Asia,” according to the World Bank.
The second is the fact the country is a “small country with very little population” and thus has a lower tax burden than the United States.
And the third is that “the government does not have a lot of leverage to manage its economy,” Dutton writes.
To help illustrate how this works, Dutts analysis shows how the Philippine economy grew at a 10 percent annual rate from 1998 to 2010, when the country had just over 4 million people.
This was enough to support the government’s GDP, which was around $50 billion.
However, in contrast to a similar case in the United Kingdom, which is one country in which the government can manage its budget and tax burden, DUTTS claims that “there is no leverage on the government to manage the economy.”
So while Dutton’s case is “not necessarily true,” it is an important one because “the Philippines has not only a high level of economic inequality, but a high population density, as well as a high cost of living,” according the authors.
The Land end catalog is a book Dutting’s wife, Kristy, has written with her husband, who is an economist.
Recode’s live conversation will also include an interview with Dutton about his book, and he will be answering questions on topics ranging from politics and economics, to the environment and healthcare.
This is Recode’s seventh live conversation on this topic, which has been hosted on previous episodes of Recode Talk.