Big Business, Strong State by Em Kim

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Essay Big Business, Strong State by Em Kim

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A summary and review of the work on the causes and effects of South Korea’s economic growth, 1960-1990.

E. M. Kim’s Big Business Strong State
This review essay summarizes and evaluates the above entitled book in which Korean author Kim discusses the factors which explain the remarkable economic growth of South Korea during the period 1960-1990. His central theses are that: (i) rapid economic development was successfully launched in the 60s by the authoritarian government of former General Park Chung Hee (Park) which through its centralized planning and controls over capital, credit and labor guided large industrial firms or chaebols into export-oriented industries in favorable international markets; (ii) in the 70s the South Korean economy made a successful transition from light manufacturing to heavy industry and continued to grow rapidly. The relationship between the Park regime and the chaebols became more symbiotic and…

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