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거시

Working Paper

On Controversies over the East Asian Growth Miracle

페이스북
커버이미지
  • 저자 조동철(曺東徹) , 한진희(韓震熙)
  • 발행일 1997/12/01
  • 시리즈 번호 9712
원문보기
요약 Sustainability of rapid growth in the East Asian countries
was called into question by Krugman on the grounds that the
growth of the region is mostly input-driven. The recent
economic slowdown of the region seems to be putting more
weight on Krugman's view. The discussions in this essay
shows that his gloomy prediction could well be based in shaky
grounds, both theoretically and empirically. However, it will take
long until the debate reaches a consensus, especially with
regards to the causes of fast growth future growth prospects,
and the role of government.

Then, what lessons can we draw form the above
discussions on the recent debates? In other words, what are
Krugman's contributions? First of all, his argument and the
subsequent debates have renewed attention to the importance of
technological progress or improvements in efficiency in the
economic growth process. Economic growth is important since it
can raise the living standard of people. However, a blind pursuit
of high growth rate is neither desirable nor feasible without
increases in the level of technology or efficiency. In Korea, R&D
expenditure as a share of GNP is now over 2.6 percent, which
is higher than that of the United Sates. However, not only the
size but also the efficiency of R&D is crucial for maintaining
further growth potential.

Secondly, in as much as technological knowledge can be
productive only when it is human-embodied, more attention
should be paid to producing creative and high-skilled labor force.
For this, more efforts have to be directed towards devising
incentive schemes that favor knowledge creation and diffusion
activity.

The final lesson we can draw is on the role of government.
Despite Krugman's assessment of the past role of East Asian
governments is somewhat questionable, his emphasis on free
markets would be a timely advice for East Asian policy
intellectuals. This is to way that, whatever the past roles of the
governments mights have been, future policies of East Asian
governments have to rely more on market mechanism; for
increases in efficiency and further technological progress we just
don't have a better alternative than relying on market forces. In
this respect, the current reform efforts in various areas-- labor
market, financial market, and education system-- should be
pursued without succumbing to political pressures. If these
reforms are successfully accomplished, we might be able to say
'Krugman was wrong' someday later.

(※본 보고서의 Concluding Remarks 부분을 요약으로 대체)
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