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Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Business Groups

Author

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  • Chang,Sea-Jin

Abstract

Sea-Jin Chang argues that the Korean financial crisis of 1997 was due to the inertia of both the business groups known as chaebols and the Korean government which prevented adaptation to changing external environments. Once the Korean government stopped central economic planning and pursued economic liberalization in the 1980s, the transition created a void under which neither the government nor markets could monitor chaebols' investment activities. The intricate web of cross-shareholding, debt guarantees, and vertical integration resulted in extensive cross-subsidization and kept chaebols from shedding unprofitable businesses. The government's continued interventions in banks' lending practices created 'moral hazards' for both chaebols and banks. This treatment demonstrates how the structure of chaebols later inhibited other adaptations and for all practical purposes became nearly dysfunctional. The book argues that restructuring of chaebols should focus on improving corporate governance systems. After such restructuring, the author predicts, chaebols will re-emerge as stronger, more focused global players.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang,Sea-Jin, 2003. "Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Business Groups," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521814355, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521814355
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-546, October.
    2. Conybeare, John A C & Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "Alternative Collective-Goods Models of Military Alliances: Theory and Empirics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 525-542, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bstieler, Ludwig & Hemmert, Martin, 2008. "Developing trust in vertical product development partnerships: A comparison of South Korea and Austria," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 35-46, January.
    2. Manuel Oechslin, 2009. "Creditor protection and the dynamics of the distribution in oligarchic societies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 313-344, December.
    3. Yuan Lu & Jun Yao, 2006. "Impact of state ownership and control mechanisms on the performance of group affiliated companies in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 485-503, December.
    4. Randall Morck, 2005. "How to Eliminate Pyramidal Business Groups The Double Taxation of Inter-corporate Dividends and other Incisive Uses of Tax Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 135-179 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kim, Jungho & Lee, Chang-Yang & Cho, Yunok, 2016. "Technological diversification, core-technology competence, and firm growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 113-124.
    6. Pursey Heugens & Stelios Zyglidopoulos, 2008. "From social ties to embedded competencies: the case of business groups," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 12(4), pages 325-341, November.
    7. Mario García Molina, 2010. "¿Disminuyó la diversificación de los grupos empresariales colombianos después de la apertura?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO - ESCUELA DE ECONOMÍA 007659, UN - RCE - CID.
    8. Ludwig Bstieler & Martin Hemmert, 2010. "Trust formation in Korean new product alliances: How important are pre-existing social ties?," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 299-319, June.
    9. Sea-Jin Chang, 2006. "Business groups in East Asia: Post-crisis restructuring and new growth," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 407-417, December.
    10. LEE, Keun & CHOO, Kineung & Yoon, Minho, 2013. "Comparing the Productivity Impacts of Knowledge Spillovers from Network and Arm’s Length Industries:Findings from Business Groups in Korea," IIR Working Paper 13-15, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. Park, Choelsoon & Kim, Seonghoon, 2008. "Corporate governance, regulatory changes, and corporate restructuring in Korea, 1993-2004," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 66-84, January.
    12. Saibal Ghosh, 2010. "Affiliation And Firm Performance: Evidence From Indian Business Groups," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(3), pages 183-200, June.
    13. Lee, Keun & Kim, Ji Youn & Lee, Oonkyu, 2010. "Long-term evolution of the firm value and behavior of business groups: Korean chaebols between weak premium, strong discount, and strong premium," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 412-440, September.
    14. Lee, Keonbeom & Peng, Mike W. & Lee, Keun, 2008. "From diversification premium to diversification discount during institutional transitions," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 47-65, January.
    15. Mooweon Rhee & Ji-Hwan Lee, 2008. "The Signals Outside Directors Send to Foreign Investors: Evidence from Korea," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 41-51, January.
    16. Sébastien Lechevalier & Pauline Debanes & Wonkyu Shin, 2017. "Financialization and industrial policies in Japan and Korea: Evolving institutional complementarities and loss of state capabilities," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    17. Choi, Young Rok & Yoshikawa, Toru & Zahra, Shaker A. & Han, Bong H., 2014. "Market-oriented institutional change and R&D investments: Do business groups enhance advantage?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 466-475.
    18. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:08:y:2005:i:04:n:s0219091505000579 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Niklas Potrafke, 2007. "Social Security in Germany: A Prey of Political Opportunism?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 677, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    20. Kim, Jae-jin & Hemmert, Martin, 2016. "What drives the export performance of small and medium-sized subcontracting firms? A study of Korean manufacturers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 511-521.
    21. Nicolas Ziebarth, 2013. "Are China and India Backwards? Evidence from the 19th Century U.S. Census of Manufactures," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 86-99, January.
    22. Xavier, Wlamir Gonçalves & Bandeira-de-Mello, Rodrigo & Marcon, Rosilene, 2014. "Institutional environment and Business Groups' resilience in Brazil," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 900-907.
    23. Lamin, Anna & Dunlap, Denise, 2011. "Complex technological capabilities in emerging economy firms: The role of organizational relationships," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 211-228, September.
    24. Lee, Seung-Hyun & Beamish, Paul W. & Lee, Ho-Uk & Park, Jong-Hun, 2009. "Strategic choice during economic crisis: Domestic market position, organizational capabilities and export flexibility," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-15, January.

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