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Relative efficiency measures for the knowledge economies in the Asia Pacific region

Hui Boon Tan (Faculty of Social Sciences and Education, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, Semenyih, Malaysia)
Chee Wooi Hooy (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
Sardar M.N. Islam (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Alex Manzoni (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The objective of this paper is to assess the relative efficiency of 12 selected Asia Pacific countries in their development of knowledge‐based economies (KEs).


The performances of the selected countries are evaluated using data envelopment analysis (DEA).


The DEA scores indicate that four of the emerging countries (India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mainland China) are relatively inefficient in K‐E development compared to the other eight which are equally efficient. The main reason for their backwardness is due to the outflow of their human capital resource to the developed countries. This seriously undermines the level of their K‐E development compared to their counterparts. The results also indicate that knowledge dissemination is generally not a serious problem, except for India.

Research limitations/implications

The results and the discussion should be taken as the first step in an analysis which warrants further research. The knowledge clusters identified earlier could suggest that the k‐economy may be better studied by its components where the more diagnostic versions of the DEA model can be applied.

Practical implications

The importance of this study however, is not so much the immediate result which highlights comparative efficiencies, but rather that DEA is a workable model which can take the study of KE further in investigating the contributory factors of KE.


This paper makes an original contribution because a comprehensive analysis of this type, of relative performance measures of the knowledge economy in the Asia Pacific countries, has not been done before using the quantitative technique of DEA.



Boon Tan, H., Wooi Hooy, C., Islam, S.M.N. and Manzoni, A. (2008), "Relative efficiency measures for the knowledge economies in the Asia Pacific region", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 111-124.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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