IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Giulio Guarini
  • Vasco Molini
  • Roberta Rabellotti


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).

Suggested Citation

  • Giulio Guarini & Vasco Molini & Roberta Rabellotti, 2006. "Is Korea Catching Up? An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth in South Korea," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 323-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:34:y:2006:i:3:p:323-339 DOI: 10.1080/13600810600921836

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harcourt,G. C., 1972. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521096720, March.
    2. P. Garegnani, 1970. "A Reply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 439-439.
    3. P. Garegnani, 1970. "Heterogeneous Capital, the Production Function and the Theory of Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 407-436.
    4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:34:y:2006:i:3:p:323-339. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.