Pathways to Sustainable Growth
Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Iyanatul Islam
Chapter 4: Paradigm shift in Korean economic policy in the wake of the 1997 financial crisis
4. Paradigm shift in Korean economic policy in the wake of the 1997 ﬁnancial crisis O. Yul Kwon INTRODUCTION The objective of this chapter is to examine critically a shift in the paradigm of South Korean economic policy in the wake of the 1997 ﬁnancial crisis. After a successful performance over the last three decades, the South Korean economy (hereafter South Korea will be referred to as Korea) fell into ﬁnancial crisis in 1997, and was rescued by the IMF. No one would repudiate the fact that the government has played the pivotal role not only as regards the prodigious growth of the Korean economy over the last three decades, but also in the recent developments of the ﬁnancial crisis and the ensuing restructuring process. Its economic policy has extensively permeated and aﬀected all the factors related to recent economic developments, rendering it of overriding importance. A few burning questions have therefore arisen, including the following. Why did Korean economic policy work well over the three decades of the economic success period? Why should the economic policy that had worked well in the past have suddenly failed, thereby resulting in the ﬁnancial crisis? How would the Korean policy paradigm change in the wake of the ﬁnancial crisis? It appears that these questions have not been dealt with systematically and comprehensively. Therefore the speciﬁc purposes of this chapter are (a) to examine the policy paradigm during the economic success period, (b) to relate the failure of economic policy to...
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