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Korea's Growth Performance: Past and Future

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  • Marcus NOLAND

Abstract

South Korea is arguably the premier development success story of the last half century. For 47 years starting in 1963, the economy averaged 7 percent real growth annually, and experienced only two years of economic contraction: 1980 after the second oil shock and the assassination of President Park Chung-hee, and 1998 at the nadir of the Asian financial crisis. At the start of that period South Korea had a per capita income lower than that of Mozambique or Bolivia; today it is richer than Spain or New Zealand, and was the first Asian and first non-G7 country to host a summit of the G20, the unofficial steering committee of the world economy. The South Korean case is of interest for a variety of reasons. Rapid growth coincided with extensive state interventions in the economy, and considerable controversy exists as to how much this performance should be credited to the country’s state-led development strategy and to what extent the lessons from that experience might be portable or applied elsewhere. The salience of this issue has grown as South Korea has become a more important provider of development assistance and advice. Now the country faces challenges in maintaining its superior economic performance in the face of an aging population domestically and a taxing external environment. Finally, the country confronts scenarios involving potential instability, collapse, and/or absorption of its neighbor, North Korea.
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Suggested Citation

  • Marcus NOLAND, 2012. "Korea's Growth Performance: Past and Future," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 7(1), pages 20-42, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:asiapr:v:7:y:2012:i:1:p:20-42
    DOI: j.1748-3131.2012.01212.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1748-3131.2012.01212.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Noland, Marcus, 2015. "Unconventional monetary policy, spillovers, and liftoff: implications for Northeast Asia," MPRA Paper 67984, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Rutzer, Christian, 2014. "From the Loser to the Winner - How Trade Liberalization can lead to Leapfrogging between Countries," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100313, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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