Fifteen years ago the Korea Development Institute(KDI)and
the Harvard Institute for International Development(HIID)jointly
researched, wrote, and published ten book-length studies on the
first three decades of Korean economic development(1945-1975).
Several years ago, the reception of these volumes encouraged
the two institutes to think of a sequel. In considering that
sequel, we decided to focus on a number of studies that went
in-depth into several of the key features of the post-1975 period.
We chose three themes that dealt with central features of
Korean development, which were either not present in the
pre-1975 period or were present in only muted form. The first
of these studies dealt with macroeconomic policy during the
difficult period of the 1970s, when oil prices were rising sharply,
and with the aftermath of these macro problems in the 1980s.
This study deals with Korea`s move away from generalized
support for exports of manufactures to a policy if targeting
specific industries, the heavy and chemical industry drive of the
1973-1979 period, followed by the retreat from industrial
targeting in the 1980s. The final study will deal with some of
the strains of rapid economic growth. Special attention in that
study will be paid to labor relations and the labor market in the
1980s, when Korean democratization led to the end of
government had to learn new ways of working together.
These three studies differ from the earlier ten-volume series
in another important respect. The earlier series dealt only
peripherally with the politics of the economic changes that were
analyzed. The three recent studies include political economy
issues as central themes. Technical economic analysis continues
to play an important role, but many chapters are devoted to how
and why key economic policy decisions were actually made, a
process that involved more than purely economic considerations.