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Sustaining High Growth Through Innovation: Reforming the R&D and Education Systems in Korea

Listed author(s):
  • Yongchun Baek


  • Randall S. Jones


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    With inputs of labour and capital slowing, sustaining high growth rates in Korea will increasingly depend on total factor productivity gains, which are in turn driven to a large extent by innovation. While a number of Korean firms are at the world technology frontier in areas such as ICT, the diffusion of technology to lagging sectors is a priority to sustain growth. This paper recommends policies to improve the science and technology system by upgrading the R&D framework, in part through closer linkages between firms, universities and the government, and enhanced intellectual property right protection. Strengthened competition, particularly in the service sector, is needed to promote the diffusion of new technologies. Innovation also requires policies to ensure the supply of high-quality human capital through reforms of tertiary education. This requires a restructuring of the university system through increased competition and deregulation, as well as additional financial resources to improve quality. This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Korea ( Maintenir une forte croissance grâce à l'innovation : Réforme des système de R-D et d'éducation Les apports de main-d’oeuvre et de capital se ralentissant, le maintien de taux de croissance élevés en Corée dépendra de plus en plus des gains de productivité totale des facteurs, lesquels sont induits dans une large mesure par l’innovation. Tandis qu’un certain nombre d’entreprises coréennes se situent à la pointe de la technologie mondiale dans des domaines tels que les TIC, la diffusion de la technologie dans les secteurs retardataires est une priorité pour le maintien de la croissance. Ce papier préconise des politiques pour améliorer le système scientifique et technologique en modernisant le cadre de la R-D, notamment par une extension des liens entre les entreprises, les universités et l’État, mais aussi par un renforcement de la protection des droits de propriété intellectuelle. Une intensification de la concurrence, en particulier dans le secteur des services, est indispensable pour promouvoir la diffusion des nouvelles technologies. L’innovation requiert aussi des mesures visant à assurer une offre de capital humain de qualité par des réformes de l’enseignement supérieur. Cela exige une restructuration du système universitaire grâce au développement de la concurrence et de la déréglementation, ainsi qu’un accroissement des ressources financières pour améliorer la qualité. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Corée, 2005 (

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 470.

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    Date of creation: 20 Dec 2005
    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:470-en
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