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Group Behavior and Development: A Comparison of Farmers' Organisations in South Korea and Taiwan


  • Larry Burmeister
  • Gustav Ranis

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Michael Wang


This study presents a comparative analysis of farmers' organisations in Korea and Taiwan during 1950-80 in order to help us understand the role of group behavior in affecting development outcomes. It highlights the linkages between group behavior, parastatal organisational structures and economic performance. The paper examines the historical and political economy contexts that led to the creation of both countries' farmers' organisations and highlights the institutional characteristics that impacted their operational effectiveness. The study discusses elements in internal and external policies that affected group motivation and traces the implications of such differences in group behavior for bottom line performance. Though there existed many similarities in both organisational structure and operations, it is argued that differential intra-group behavioral dynamics led to differences in agricultural performance. Although, with the declining importance of agriculture, the relative importance of such organisations has declined in recent years, the study is relevant for developing countries at every stage of development.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry Burmeister & Gustav Ranis & Michael Wang, 2001. "Group Behavior and Development: A Comparison of Farmers' Organisations in South Korea and Taiwan," Working Papers 828, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:828

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Desai, Bhupat M. & Mellor, John W., 1993. "Institutional finance for agricultural development," Food policy reviews 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Lele, Uma, 1981. "Co-operatives and the poor: A comparative perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-72, January.
    3. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances, 1993. "Rural nonagricultural activities in development : Theory and application," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 75-101, February.
    4. N/A, 1985. "Asia," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 80-87, January.
    5. Ranis, G., 1993. "Labor Markets, Human Capital and Development Performance in East Asia," Papers 697, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    6. Oshima, Harry T, 1986. "The Transition from an Agricultural to an Industrial Economy in East Asia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 783-809, July.
    7. Evans, Peter, 1996. "Government action, social capital and development: Reviewing the evidence on synergy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1119-1132, June.
    8. Larry L. Burmeister, 1990. "State, Industrialization and Agricultural Policy in Korea," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 197-223, April.
    9. Ranis, Gustav, 1995. "Another Look at the East Asian Miracle," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 509-534, September.
    10. Heyer, J. & Stewart, F. & Thorp, R., 1999. "Group Behaviour and Development," Research Paper 161, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    11. Ching-Cheng Chang & Tsung-Chuan Hsieh, 1998. "The economic efficiency of the Credit Department of Farmers' Associations in Taiwan," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 409-418.
    12. Lee, Chinkook & Culver, David W., 1985. "Agricultural Development in Three Asian Countries: A Comparative Analysis," Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, issue 1.
    13. Ostrom, Elinor, 1996. "Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1073-1087, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geoffrey McNicoll, 2006. "Policy Lessons of the East Asian Demographic Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(1), pages 1-25.

    More about this item


    Farmers' Organizations; Korea; Taiwan; Group Behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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