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Economic development of Korea : Sui generis or generic?

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  • Economic development of Korea
  • Steinberg, David I.; USAID(Bur. for Program and Policy Coordination)
  • United States Agency for International Development


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Title Economic development of Korea
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Sui generis or generic?

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Steinberg, David I.; USAID(Bur. for Program and Policy Coordination)

Publisher

[Washington, D.C.]:United States Agency for International Development

Date 1982-01
Series Title; No Special Evaluation; AID evaluation special study / 6
Pages 60
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Economy < General
Holding United States Agency for International Development

Abstract

Korea's phenomenal economic growth since 1963 is the subject of an eight-volume study prepared by the Korea Development Institute (KDI) and Harvard Institute for Economic Development. The study findings (seven volumes have been published to date) are herein reviewed in an analysis focusing on the replicability of the Korean experience and on the extent to which A.I.D. assistance has contributed to Korean success. In chapters covering, in turn: historical and cultural factors in Korean development; rural development; trade, industry, and finance; entrepreneurship; foreign aid; education; population, urbanization, and health; and income distribution, the author shows that Korea cannot be considered a model for other developing countries, partly because of its unique culture and history (which have both positively and negatively influenced development) and partly because development has occurred in a way and a setting that directly contradict current A.I.D. priorities: e.g., economic growth resulted from intensive export promotion benefiting urban dwellers rather than the rural poor; Korea remains a highly centralized, nonparticipatory society; private enterprise is weak and cooperatives, labor unions, and commercial banks are government-controlled; women's status is low; neither income distribution nor public health have been primary goals of the Korean Government; and education, while open to society as a whole, in practice serves to reconfer prestige on an established elite. U.S. assistance, the author concludes, has been of only peripheral value in Korea's development, having been more effective at the project than the policy level; P.L. 480 aid has in fact inadvertently deterred grain pricing reforms. The training abroad of Koreans has perhaps been the most significant U.S. contribution. Several recommendations are made regarding future priorities for A.I.D. assistance in Korea, and the implications of the Korean experience for A.I.D. development strategies are drawn. Regarding the KDI-Harvard study itself, the author finds it an important analysis, but limited by its sole focus on economic development and its neglect of such critical factors as competition with North Korea, world market conditions, and the role of the military.