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Is Korea Catching Up? An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth in South Korea

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  • Giulio Guarini
  • Vasco Molini
  • Roberta Rabellotti

Abstract

Comparing the Korean labour productivity growth in the last two decades with the Japanese and US labour productivity growth, data confirm a process of catching up in several important manufacturing sectors. The paper investigates its determinants using a non-neoclassical model. Investments in skills and capabilities are found to be crucial in explaining this trend. Important policy implications for developing countries are then discussed. In the long run, a targeted education policy with government intervention and a strong emphasis on technical education can give high pay-offs. This conclusion holds in particular when the aim of the country is to compete in the international markets, not along the low road to competitiveness, based on squeezing wages and profit margins, but along the high road (i.e. improving productivity, wages and profits).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 323-339

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:34:y:2006:i:3:p:323-339

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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  2. Garegnani, P, 1970. "Heterogeneous Capital, the Production Function and the Theory of Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 407-36, July.
  3. Harcourt,G. C., 1972. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521096720, April.
  4. Garegnani, P, 1970. "Heterogeneous Capital, the Production Function and the Theory of Distribution: Reply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 439, July.
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