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Catching-up, crisis and industrial upgrading : Evolutionary aspects of technological learning in Korea's electronics industry

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  • Catching-up, crisis and industrial upgrading
  • Ernst, Dieter
  • Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics


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Title Catching-up, crisis and industrial upgrading
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Evolutionary aspects of technological learning in Korea's electronics industry

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Ernst, Dieter

Publisher

[Aalborg]:Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics

Date 1998-08
Series Title; No DRUID Working Paper / 98-16
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < General
Holding DRUID

Abstract

This paper addresses a puzzle: How is it possible that a country that has established a broad, export-oriented industrial base at record speed, remains vulnerable to the vicissitudes of international finance and currency markets? I argue that the Korean model that was tremendously successful for catching-up, has now reached its limits. The analysis centers on the co-evolution of industry structure and firm behavior. The focus is on the role of technological learning for the development of the electronics industry, a main carrier of Korea´s successful late industrialization. It is shown that a heavy reliance on credit and an extremely unbalanced industry structure have given rise to a narrow knowledge base and a sticky pattern of specialization. Catching-up has focused on capacity and international market share expansion for homogeneous, mass-produced products; very little upgrading has occurred into higher-end and rapidly growing market segments for differentiated products and services. (The rest omitted)