Regional Policy in Export-led Industrialization: The Korean Experience

  • Sung Woong Hong


Since the 1960s, Korea has experienced rapid industrialization and urbanization as the country has transformed itself into a semi-industrialized economy through an export-led development policy. The government has intervened selectively in industrial activities to alter resource allocation. With poor natural resources and little capital, the development efforts of the early 1960s focused on promoting labour-intensive light industries to gain comparative advantages in overseas markets. During this process, labour-intensive manufacturing activities became concentrated in the large metropolitan areas, particularly in Seoul and Pusan. The jobs created by manufacturing activities in these areas led to job-seeking out-migration from the rural areas. The concentration of workers and industrial activities in the major urban areas generated a synergistic effect to create agglomeration economies in a cumulative fashion.


Regional Policy Capital Region Agglomeration Economy Gross National Product Large Metropolitan Area 
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Copyright information

© Manas Chatterji and Yang Kaizhong 1997

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  • Sung Woong Hong

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