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Korean Institutional Reform in Comparative Perspective

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  • Marcus Noland

    ()
    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Erik Weeks

    ()
    (Peterson Institute)

Abstract

In recent years, academic economists have come to appreciate the centrality of public institutions in contributing to economic performance. Yet Korea, arguably the premier success story of the last half-century, has sometimes been described as a First World economy with Third World institutions. Although Korea modestly underachieves on most of the 52 institutional indicators examined in this paper, it is not an outlier, and on most indicators it is converging on global norms from below. The patterns on specific indicators suggest that global institutions play some role as an external policy anchor. The reason is straightforward: The existence of international norms gives policymakers a goal to aim for, and the existence of international institutions (and other avenues of international diplomatic pressure) helps in overcoming the historical weakness and parochialism of Korean public institutions.

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Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP08-5.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp08-5

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Keywords: Korea; institutions; growth;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
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