Economic Catch-up and Technological Leapfrogging

Economic Catch-up and Technological Leapfrogging

The Path to Development and Macroeconomic Stability in Korea

Keun Lee

This book elaborates upon the dynamic changes to Korean firms and the economy from the perspective of catch-up theory. The central premise of the book is that a latecomer’s sustained catch-up is not possible by simply following the path of the forerunners but by creating a new path or ‘leapfrogging’. In this sense, the idea of catch-up distinguishes itself from traditional views that focus on the role of the market or the state in development.

Chapter 5: From miracle to crisis and the mirage of the post-crisis reform

Keun Lee

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, asian innovation and technology, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, asian innovation, economics of innovation


Chapter 5 discussed the unfolding of the financial crisis in 1997–98 and the post-crisis reforms and their impacts. The crisis prompted the Korean government to undertake a number of reforms in finance, corporate governance, and the labor market. This chapter analyzes the dynamics of the reform process and assesses the outcomes of the reforms, which aimed at introducing the Anglo-Saxon economic model. It argues that the reform outcomes were conditioned on the interplay of local-specific conditions and interest politics and that the reforms were intent more on establishing a market-oriented economy than promoting the long-term growth potential and the competitiveness of the economy.

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