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Will the Model of Uncoordinated Decentralization Persist

By Wonduck Lee and Joohee Lee

Abstract

coordinated, was to a certain degree predetermined by the industrial strategy of former authoritarian regimes. Export-Led Industrialization (hereafter ELI) maintained international competitiveness at any cost and developed an industrial structure that divided workers far before democratic transition opened the political sphere in 1987. The major goal of the first stage of ELI was to pursue outward-looking industrialization by establishing a foundation of labor-intensive light industries based on cheap and abundant labor. It was well known that the Korean government virtually disciplined businesses using a variety of incentives including export targets, subsidies and preferential interest rates. As a result, the state became an arena in which the interests of business were critically dependent. Labor-intensive light manufacturing industries were usually based on a number of very small firms with few economies of scale and simple technology. Since these small firms were too competitive with one another to mount a collective action of putting their interests to the authoritarian state, the state did not face a united business group despite rapid economic growth (Shafter 1990: 133). These characteristics also obstructed labor’s organizational power, whic

Publisher: Cornell University Press
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.196.7187
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