An International Comparative Analysis
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Chapter 3: The South Korean Model of Increasing Privatisation of Industrial R & D
3. The South Korean model of increasing privatisation of industrial R&D In December 1996, South Korea was admitted into the elite club of the richest nations in the world, namely the OECD, and in the early part of 1997, the country was oﬃcially declared an industrialised country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).1 The average per capita GNP of the country grew at a rate of 10 per cent per annum during the 1970–95 period. Within a matter of three decades Korea has grown from a poor country to that of the eleventh largest economy in the world. The growth performance of the Korean economy has attracted much attention and has spawned a large literature. Korea leads the world in several areas of high technology such as semiconductors and shipbuilding. As noted earlier in Chapter 2 (Table 2.12), a Korean company has emerged as the ﬁfth largest patenting company in the United States. While there is much debate on the real causes of this spectacular economic performance, there is near consensus on the fact that much of the growth is contributed by the technological dynamism of her industrial sector. The chapter is structured into three main sections. The ﬁrst section analyses the role of technology in the economic growth of Korea. The second section maps out the main features of the Korean R&D system and the third section focuses on the role of government in the industrial R&D system. A summary concludes the chapter....
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