Provides a brief account of major historical trends in the Philippine political economy. It begins by examining the character of the economic elite that emerged during the country's integration into the world economy in the nineteenth century. It focuses particular attention on the period since 1986 and argues that political and institutional factors are central to understanding the uneven and often lagging character of Philippine economic performance. Four political regimes have been surveyed, each with its notable strengths and weaknesses: (1) Aquino's “modest revolution;” (2) Ramos administration characterized as one of “building reform momentum;” (3) the “flawed experiment” of the Estrada administration; and (4) the “dilemma of normalcy” under the Macapagal–Arroyo administration.
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