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산업

Working Paper

The Government in Korean Economic Growth

페이스북
커버이미지
  • 저자 유정호(兪正鎬)
  • 발행일 1989/02/01
  • 시리즈 번호 8904
원문보기
요약 This paper reviews the salient features of Korea's economic
experience in the 1970s, the decade when the government
pursued an industrial targeting policy with the utmost vigor.
Whether or not the policy succeeded is of critical importance in
evaluating the Korean government's capabilities and its role in
the country's economic performance.

To state the conclusion of this paper first: The
government's contribution to Korean economic growth, though
considerable, was not made through the kind of intervention that
is popularly perceived to be the case. In particular, the Korean
government's intervention in allocating resources at the industry
or firm level did not prove to be successful. As shall be argued
in the following, the Korean economy performed well when there
was no strong bias in the incentive system, and it performed
poorly under an industrial policy that strongly favored certain
industries and protected domestic producers. Given the practical
importance and academic interest of the subject matter, a more
thorough and rigorous analysis of the Korea experience is called
for.

From a theoretical point of view, the Korean experience
during the 1970s was not an adequate test of the industrial
targeting policy in that its failure seems to have stemmed
largely from excessive government intervention. Industrial
targeting did not have a change to prove or disprove itself
because it was neither carefully prescribed nor cautiously
implemented. This may be an interesting point in itself, for the
Korean experience may be viewed as an experiment in how
difficult or easy it is for a government to limit its intervention
to an optimal extent.

The following section provides an overview of Korea
economic growth and the industrial policy of the 1970s. Section
3 describes the major policy tools the government used in
promoting heavy and chemical industries during the decade.
Section 4 and 5 discuss the effects of the policy on the
performance of the Korean economy in the domestic and
international markets. Section 6 describes the subsequent
changes in economic policies. The last section concludes with
and assessment of the government's role in Korea economic
growth.

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