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Korea's first industrial revolution, 1911–1940

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  • Cha, Myung Soo
  • Kim, Nak Nyeon

Abstract

We estimate output and population of colonial Korea to show that per capita output grew 2.3% with population expanding 1.3% per year from 1911 to 1940. Growth accounting indicated that productivity advance accounted for roughly one half of the per capita output growth. Primary production as a share of GDP fell from 69% to 42% during the period. Rapid productivity improvement caused nontradable sectors to become increasingly important, while capital accumulation drove industrialization. Demographic expansion, per capita output growth, and structural change occurred at considerably faster rates in northern than in southern provinces.

Suggested Citation

  • Cha, Myung Soo & Kim, Nak Nyeon, 2012. "Korea's first industrial revolution, 1911–1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 60-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:60-74
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2011.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Broadberry, Stephen N., 1998. "How Did the United States and Germany Overtake Britian? A Sectoral Analysis of Comparative Productivity Levels, 1870–1990," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 375-407, June.
    3. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2002. "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence From the Factor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 502-526, June.
    4. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
    5. Choi, Seong-Jin & Schwekendiek, Daniel, 2009. "The biological standard of living in colonial Korea, 1910-1945," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 259-264, July.
    6. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-1238, December.
    7. Dongwoo Yoo & Richard H. Steckel, 2010. "Property Rights and Financial Development: The Legacy of Japanese Colonial Institutions," NBER Working Papers 16551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Joseph P. Ferrie & Werner Troesken, 2005. "Death and the City: Chicago's Mortality Transition, 1850-1925," NBER Working Papers 11427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Historical sources of institutional trajectories in economic development: China, Japan and Korea compared," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 22, pages 439-469 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Giordano, Claire & Giugliano, Ferdinando, 2015. "A tale of two Fascisms: Labour productivity growth and competition policy in Italy, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 25-38.
    3. Felice, Emanuele & Carreras, Albert, 2012. "When did modernization begin? Italy's industrial growth reconsidered in light of new value-added series, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 443-460.

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