South Korean Economic Development Essay

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The economic development of South Korea since 1960 is one of the biggest success stories in the history of development. In just a few decades, South Korea transformed itself from an agricultural society to an industrialized nation exporting high-technology products such as cars, TVs, mobile phones or computers. Furthermore, after more than two decades of authoritarian rule South Korea changed relatively peacefully to a democratic society in 1987. After the Korean war, South Korea was one of the world's poorest countries with only $64 per capita income. Economically, in the 1960s it lagged behind the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, it is home to multiple conglomerates like Samsung, Hyundai and LG, which command a lot of power in the world market right now.
A bit of insight into South Korea’s rise to a developed country before we proceed onto dissecting the various traits of its model which led to the same. It is safe to assume that South Korea benefited from the effects of the Cold War and from being an ally of the United States of America. Reports by KoFid, a South Korean network of civil society organizations, and ReDI, a South Korean think-tank point out that between 1946 and 1978, the US injected foreign aid of about 60 billion US dollars to South Korea in form of grants and loans while the entire continent of Africa received only 69 billion US dollars as aid from them. However, South Korean
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Japan is the most prominent investor in human capital and both these countries are examples of how lack of natural resources or land shouldn’t be an impediment to development, directly contradicting Rostow’s model which was explored earlier. In South Korea’s case, presence of informal institution like Confucianism also led to priority being given to education among the masses, which in turn helped in their economic

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