The efficacy of export-led industrialization in the hyper-successful East Asian economies depended in no small measure on the forces that drove globalization. These forces fueled transfers of technology in unprecedented volumes and by innovative means in a variety of industries, including those at the frontiers of global technological change. The successful exploitation of these transfers would not have been possible without purposeful, aggressive actions of the part of the recipient firms in order to realize the increased technological capabilities that they enabled. Firms were incited to undertake these activities by conducive, neoclassical policies which were crucially augmented with selective interventions that fosteredrapid technological development. Owing to significant uncertainties about the future course of the globaleconomy, comprehension of the ingredients of past success does not suffice to state the recipe for futuresuccess, but it is sufficient to identify the key areas of concern for future policy making.
This paper derives from extensive notes used for a lecture and related seminar given April 18, 2000 at Macalester
College, St. Paul, Minnesota under the auspices of its Economics Department's Cargill Distinguished Visitor Program; thanks are due to Macalester's economics faculty for their invitation leading to the paper. Some of the work discussed herein was supported by the United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and by the Joel Dean Foundation's funding of summer research by Swarthmore students in the social sciences; Esther Parker ’97 provided exceptionally able research assistance in the doing of the work.