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Bad Loans to Good Friends: Money Politics and the Developmental State in South Korea

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  • Kang, David C.

Abstract

Why has the literature on Asian development not addressed the issue of money politics in South Korea? How can we reconcile the view of an efficient developmental state in South Korea before 1997 with reports of massive corruption and inefficiency in that same country in 1998 and 1999? Politics is central to the answer. In this study I make two arguments. First, money politics was extensive in South Korea both during and after the high-growth era. Second, political—not economic—considerations dominated policymaking. This study explains both past and present and compares the patterns of money politics in the early post-independence era with those that arose after the democratic transition in 1987. While during the Park era a balance of power between businessmen and politicians kept corruption from spinning out of control, the transition to democracy altered the basic business-state relationship, allowing business to exert greater influence over policy decisions. The political hypothesis advanced in this study suggests a new direction for our research about the developmental state.

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  • Kang, David C., 2002. "Bad Loans to Good Friends: Money Politics and the Developmental State in South Korea," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 177-207, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:56:y:2002:i:01:p:177-207_44
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    Cited by:

    1. Simeon D. Alder, 2016. "In the Wrong Hands: Complementarities, Resource Allocation, and TFP," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 199-241, January.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marcus Noland, 2007. "South Korea's Experience with International Capital Flows," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 481-528 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Randall Morck & Daniel Wolfenzon & Bernard Yeung, 2004. "Corporate Governance, Economic Entrenchment and Growth," NBER Working Papers 10692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James Wang, 2010. "The Political Economy of Collective Labour Legislation in Taiwan," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(3), pages 51-85.
    6. Karo , Erkki & Kattel , Rainer, 2015. "Innovation Bureaucracy: Does the organization of government matter when promoting innovation?," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/38, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    7. Laurids S. Lauridsen, 2014. "Governance and Economic Transformation in Taiwan: The Role of Politics," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 32(4), pages 427-448, July.
    8. Sen, Kunal, 2013. "The Political Dynamics of Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 71-86.
    9. Dorottya Sallai & Gerhard Schnyder, 2015. "Strong State, Weak Managers: How Firms Cope with Autocracy in Hungary," Working Papers wp474, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    10. Wang, Yuanyuan & You, Jing, 2012. "Corruption and firm growth: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 415-433.
    11. repec:rfa:journl:v:6:y:2018:i:5:p:74-85 is not listed on IDEAS

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