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Trade, Reform, and Structural Transformation in South Korea

Author

Listed:
  • Rubina Verma

    (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

  • Rahul Giri

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Caroline Betts

    (University of Southern California)

Abstract

We develop a quantitative two country, three-sector model to measure the effects of trade policies for Korean structural change from 1963 through 2000. The model features non-homothetic preferences, Armington trade, proportional import tariffs and export subsidies, and is carefully calibrated to match sectoral value added production and value added trade between Korea and the OECD. We find that tariff liberalization increased imports and total trade, especially agricultural imports, accelerating de-agriculturization and intensifying Korean industrialization. Subsidy liberalization lowered exports and trade, especially industrial exports, attenuating industrialization. Thus, these effects of trade reform were individually powerful, but negated each other. Korea’s subsidy reform dominated quantitatively; relative to a “no reform” regime which maintains both 1963 tariff and subsidy rates forever, observed trade reform produces comparable but lower trade volumes, a larger agricultural and lower industrial employment share, and slower industrialization. “Complete reform”, lowering tariffs and subsidies to zero from 1963 onwards, would have substantially increased trade volumes and facilitated industrialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Rubina Verma & Rahul Giri & Caroline Betts, 2017. "Trade, Reform, and Structural Transformation in South Korea," 2017 Meeting Papers 1530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:1530
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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