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Working Paper

Industrial Restructuring Experience and Policies in Korea in the 1970s

페이스북
커버이미지
  • 저자 곽태원(郭泰元)
  • 발행일 1984/08/01
  • 시리즈 번호 8408
원문보기
요약 During the 1970s, the Korean economy underwent dramatic
structural changes. The two oil shocks and the resulting
changes in the level and structure of world demand critically
affected the course of the structural adjustments of this open
economy. Policy reponses of major trade partner countries to the
shocks, the rapid technological changes in the developed
countries, and the swift spread of industrialization among the
developing countries also influenced the industrial structure of
the Korea economy. There have also been many autonomous
domestic factors which habe affected the course of industrial
restructuring. These factors include changes in the domestic
demand structure due to the increased income level, development
s of industrialization, shifts in the demographic characteristics,
changes in the factor market condition, and domestic
technological development.

The drastic changes in the industrial structure experienced
in the 1970s, however, are not sufficiently explained by the
nonpolicy exogenous factors listed above. Korean policy makers
had a very concrete goal and pursued it with remarkable
consistency in the 1970s. This goal was often represented by a
term, "deepening of industrial structure", which simply means
increasing the relative weights of heavy industries such as steel
and iron, machinery, transportation equipment, and
petrochemicals. others describe this restructuring effort as an
"export oriented heavy industrialization" or 'export oriented
structural deepening of the industry". The policy makers in the
1970s alleged that the vest way to maintain the continued
prosperity of the economy was to sustain the export drive.

This belief, however, was based on the assumption that
Korea had to switch its focus of export drive strategy to the
heavy industrial sector since the export drive in the light
manufacturing sector had almost reached its limit. It was a
persuasive, revised version of the successful "export oriented
industrialization strategy" of the 1960s. In the wake of the first
oil crisis, international trade was stagnant and the prices of raw
materials increased sharply. In addition, Korea faced intense
competition from the developing countries in many light
industrial products such as garments, footwear, and other textile
products. Of course, there might have been a few noneconomic
motives behind the heavy industrialization strategy, which was
launched before the first oil crisis of 1973, such as political
demonstration or national defense. Whatever the true motive, it
is clear that the Korea government was committed to the "heavy
industrialization".

The primary objective of this paper is to describe the
structural changes in the Korean economy and relate them in a
systematic way to the factors which directly or indirectly caused
those changes. In particular, we will focus on t도 policies
employed to achieve the heavy industrialization goals. In Section
Ⅱ, the structural changes of the Koran economy in the 1970s
will be statistically presented. In the following three sections, we
will discuss policy measures which directly or indirectly
influenced the industrial restructuring in the 1970s. The
macroeconomic policy responses to major shocks and their
structural implications will be discussed first. Subsequently, tax
incentives and other relative policies will be analyzed, followed
by a discussion of direct intervention policies. Finally, in section
Ⅵ, in our concluding remarks, we will attempt to summarize
Korea's restructuring efforts in the 1970s and make a few
suggestions for future restructuring policies.

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