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How Can Korea be a Role Model for Catch-up Development?: A .Capability-based View


  • Lee, Keun


There is some scepticism about Korea as role model of development as the Korean model involved a considerable degree of state activism, unacceptable in today.s global environment. This paper propose a .capability-based view. of the country.s catch-up development, arguing that the real lesson from Korea is not the role of government but the fact that it was able to strengthen the capability of firms, thus inducing sustained growth for several decades. This paper points to the mid 1980s as the critical juncture in this process of capability-building, as the Korea emphasized in-house R&D in private sectors, pushing the aggregate R&D/GDP ratio to the threshold level of 1 per cent or more. This led to another core aspect of the Korean model.continuous upgrading within the same industries as well as advancing successive entries into new promising industries. The paper argues that without capability-building, devaluation or standard trade liberalization alone cannot bring sustained catch-up as these often result in short-run, albeit temporary, export booms. The study analyses how Korea utilized various access modes to learning and knowledge to enhance its technological capabilities, and concludes with a discussion of the transferability of the Korean

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  • Lee, Keun, 2009. "How Can Korea be a Role Model for Catch-up Development?: A .Capability-based View," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2009-34

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    1. Singh, Lakhwinder & Shergill, Baldev Singh, 2009. "Technological Capability, Employment Growth and Industrial Development: A Quantitative Anatomy of Indian Scenario," MPRA Paper 19059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta, 2017. "Building Knowledge Economies in Africa: A Survey of Policies and Strategies," MPRA Paper 81701, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Guadagno, Francesca, 2016. "The determinanths of industrialisation in developing countries, 1960-2005," MERIT Working Papers 031, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Simplice Asongu & Vanessa Tchamyou, 2015. "Foreign aid, education and lifelong learning in Africa," Working Papers 15/047, African Governance and Development Institute..
    5. Asongu, Simplice, 2017. "Mobile Phone Innovation and Technology-driven Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 84040, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2017.
    6. Asongu, Simplice & Amavilah, Voxi & Andrés, Antonio R., 2014. "Economic Implications of Business Dynamics for KE-Associated Economic Growth and Inclusive Development in African Countries," MPRA Paper 63793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C Nwachukwu, 2015. "The incremental effect of education on corruption: evidence of synergy from lifelong learning," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2288-2308.
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    9. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "PhD by Publication as an Argument for Innovation and Technology Transfer: with Emphasis on Africa," Working Papers 16/030, African Governance and Development Institute..
    10. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice Asongu, 2014. "Does Intelligence Affect Economic Diversification?," Working Papers 14/039, African Governance and Development Institute..
    11. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "The role of lifelong learning on political stability and non violence: evidence from Africa," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 141-164, January.
    12. Simplice Asongu & Vanessa Tchamyou & Paul Acha-Anyi, 2017. "Who is Who in Knowledge Economy in Africa?," Working Papers 17/043, African Governance and Development Institute..
    13. Keun Lee and John Mathews, 2013. "Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development," CDP Background Papers 016, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    14. Sanika Sulochani Ramanayake & Chandana Shrinath Wijetunga, 2017. "Rethinking the development of post-war Sri Lanka based on the Singapore model," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2017-009, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    15. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "A Brief Future of Time in the Monopoly of Scientific Knowledge," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 58(4), pages 638-671, December.
    16. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "Knowledge Economy Gaps, Policy Syndromes, and Catch-Up Strategies: Fresh South Korean Lessons to Africa," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(1), pages 211-253, March.
    17. Simplice Asongu & Nicholas Biekpe, 2017. "Mobile Phone Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 17/023, African Governance and Development Institute..
    18. Keun Lee & Yee Kyoung Kim, 2014. "Patents versus utility models in a dynamic change of an economy: Korea," Chapters,in: Intellectual Property for Economic Development, chapter 4, pages 90-119 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes, and Implications," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(2), pages 596-637, June.
    20. Paus, Eva, 2014. "Latin America and the middle-income trap," Financiamiento para el Desarrollo 250, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

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    Korea; development; catch-up; role model; capabilities;

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