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 6: Maintaining macro-stability for a crisis-resilient growth in Korea

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


In Chapter 6 a structuralist macroeconomics perspective is taken to interpret the two recent financial crises in Korea, and a new policy framework and reform measures are suggested to build a crisis-resilient macro-financial system in Korea. The chapter focuses on the so-called “Frenkel-Neftci” cycle and the two kinds of expected spreads, namely, interest spread and capital gain spreads, which initially motivate foreign investment in emerging economies. To establish a crisis-resilient macro-financial system, a new macro policy framework that can be described as “an intermediate system” is proposed, with full capital mobility but with an explicit option of Tobin taxes, a flexible basket, band, and crawl exchange rate system, and relative independence in monetary policy making with a new balance between interest rates and exchange rate targeting. A justification for the intermediate system proposed in this chapter is made because it is not easy to prevent the “two kinds of spreads” from happening simultaneously in a standard (orthodox) open macroeconomic policy setting.

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