Race To The Swift: State And Finance In Korean Industrialization

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Race To The Swift: State And Finance In Korean Industrialization

By Jung-en Woo
Columbia University Press, 1991
280 pp. $35.00
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To construct a "different" interpretation of the history and political economy of modern Korea, Woo, of Northwestern University, says she had to engage in "a good bit of excavation" and "discover new materials." Her conclusion is that firm government control of the financial structure was the key factor enabling South Korea to build a strong state and an economy emphasizing heavy industry against all conventional wisdom about development. The discussion of the many factors leading to the liberalization of finance in the 1980s seems more tentative and, in light of her earlier analysis, ascribes a surprising amount of influence to the United States.

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