The South Korean development pattern entailed a tremendous economic success story as its
expansion has been one of the fastest in the world between 1961 and 1990. The GNP grew of 7.1
percent every year1. Plus, in spite of the 1998 financial crisis and negative growth rates, the country
recovered quickly and is part of the four Asian tigers along with Taiwan, Singapor and Hong Kong.
This impressive economic take off occurred in the 1960s, right after the military coup of
Park Chung Hee, who overthrew Syngman Rhee's regime. After 1961, Park launched an array of
reforms that deeply modified the core structure of the Korean market organization, that went from
an agrarian- to an industrial-based economy. This one-of-a-kind model was based on the close
relationship between a strong State and the Chaebols, it is to say big family owned enterprises comparable to the Japanese zaibatsus. It promoted a developmental state, supposed to be totally
independant and committed to the elimination of cronyism.
Nevertheless, even though this pattern evolved and is still considered today as extremely
efficient, it failed to adress the corruption issue as the Asian financial crisis eventually revealed it.
Ramping corruption never ceased and became part of the society's mechanisms. It could be either
functional or irrevelent, but it was always there.
In this regard, we can argue that corruption might be compatible with development to some
extent. Yet, did corruption impede or fuel the South Korean rise? What influence did it have,
through the Chaebols, on democracy?
To figure out better the Korean situation, it seems necessary to hark back to its history after
the war that split the peninsula. Then, I will analyze the main pattern of developement implemented
in South Korea and try to explain how it shaped (or not) cronyism. Last, I will discuss the today's
situation, influenced by a strong will of the population to struggle against corruption.
Sommaire de l'étude de cas
I) The geopolitical and historical situation of South Korea
II) Tthe main pattern of developement implemented
in South Korea and try to explain how it shaped (or not) cronyism
Extraits de l'étude de cas
[...] Indeed, the Kennedy administration wanted to urge the anticommunist countries to industrialize their economy and provided aids to South Korea. Yet, Park refused to jeopardize the partnership that existed between the state and the business groups and softened his tone. He stressed transparency by changing certain rules. The new nature of this relationship was formal and not personal and collusive as it was under Rhee. Plus, the state imposed its will over the Chaebols as it aimed to play a major guidance role in the nation's economic development. [...]
[...] Even though they were accused of bribery, the corporations remained out of troubles because they were indispensable for the South Korean economy. The state needed to cooperate with the Chaebols to implement its policies more than ever. The avent of the Chaebols Republic entailed a high level of corruption despite Chun's promises. Plus, the Chaebols had access to priviledged informations, concerning the purchasing of lands for instance. The issue of land speculation became a serious problem throughout the 1990s. The rapid growth of cities in the 1970s provoked a land shortage and the price of land and housing skyrocketed. [...]
[...] To understand this specific pattern, we have to study the economic structures of South Korea. Largely influenced by its powerful neighbour Japan, the nation promoted the rise of familyowned and family-managed large business groups such as Hyundai or Samsung. The big businesses called Chaebols, created an industrial network that could not be ignored by the political power. Throughout the 1950s, the chaebols got closer to the state and became a major engine of South Korean development. They expanded thanks to state loans and the foreign aids under Rhee. [...]
[...] Yet, did corruption impede or fuel the South Korean rise? What influence did it have, through the Chaebols, on democracy? To figure out better the Korean situation, it seems necessary to hark back to its history after the war that split the peninsula. Then, I will analyze the main pattern of developement implemented in South Korea and try to explain how it shaped (or not) cronyism. Last, I will discuss the today's situation, influenced by a strong will of the population to struggle against corruption World Bank 1992 First, let's have a look at the geopolitical and historical situation of South Korea. [...]
[...] Becker, Crime and Punishment:An Economic Approach, Journal of Political Economy prosperity. Income inequality and economic concentration by the Chaebols are still major concerns. The NGO Transparency International indicates that corruption increased in South Korea from 2000 to 200610. Thus, the efforts started in 2000 should be maintained and the hardest part of the transformation is still ahead. However, the positive effect of democratic reforms and the political awareness of the civil society destines Korea for a bright future Transparency International is an NGO created in 1993. [...]
À propos de l'auteur
Elsa h.EtudianteSciences politiquesCorruption in South Korea