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Riding into the Sunset: The Political Economy of Bicycles as a Declining Industry in Korea

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  • Riding into the Sunset: The Political Economy of Bicycles as a Declining Industry in Korea
  • Park, Hun Joo; Park, Yeun-Sook박헌주, 박연숙
  • Institute for National Security Strategy


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Title Riding into the Sunset: The Political Economy of Bicycles as a Declining Industry in Korea
Similar Titles
Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Park, Hun Joo; Park, Yeun-Sook

Author(Korean)

박헌주, 박연숙

Publisher

Institute for National Security Strategy

Date 2005
Journal Title; Vol./Issue The Journal of East Asian Affairs:Vol. 19 Issue 2
Pages 28
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Economy < Others
Holding Institute for National Security Strategy

Abstract

This paper investigates the causes underlying the tragic story of the demise of Korea's bicycle industry, from one that appeared to be as competitive as Taiwan's up until the early 1970s to its almost complete dissolution and collapse. Whereas Taiwan went on to overtake Japan as the world's number one bicycle exporter by 1980, Korea's bicycle industry peaked in the late 1980s without ever reaching its maturity both in terms of export and production performances and then hopelessly declined to fall apart by the late 1990s. This paper examines three key causal factors: Samchuly-Kia's monopolistic complacency; Korea's industrial structure and the assembler-supplier relations; and the state's unbalanced and big chaebol-biased industrial policies. In so doing, it contributes to rethinking and redefining the role of government and industrial policy in managing so-called sunset industries.