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The Shrimp that Became a Tiger

Transformation Theory and Korea’s Rise After the Asian Crisis

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Bernhard Seliger

South Korea underwent a dramatic change in the last one and a half decades, from being considered a «tiger in trouble» in the wake of the Asian crisis to a showcase of economic development. The judgment of 1998 was itself a complete reversal of the previous enthusiastic reviews of world record-high growth for several decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s. Korea, once considered a shrimp between two mighty whales, Japan and China, veritably made a jump to become a tiger. And, after the steep decline of 1998, this tiger again showed its claws. This book deals not with the causes of the crisis in retrospect, but rather with the implications for the development of a new economic model in South Korea. It argues that the crisis and the following institutional change can best be understood by applying the theory of economic transformation.

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Abbreviations and Acronyms

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ACU Asian Currency Unit ADB Asian Development Bank AMF Asian Monetary Fund AMS Asian Monetary System AMU Asian Monetary Union APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations BEPA Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement BOK Bank of Korea CBI Central Bank Independence CEE Central and Eastern Europe CIS Commonwealth of Independent States CVLM Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar DDA Doha Development Agenda EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EC European Community EMS European Monetary System EPZ Export Processing Zones FDI Foreign direct investment FSC Financial Supervisory Commission FTA Free trade agreement FTC Fair Trade Commission G20 Group of 20 G8 Group of 8 GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GDP Gross domestic product GDR German Democratic Republic (Germany) GNP Gross national product HCI Heavy and chemical industry IAP Individual Action Plan IMD International Institute for Management Development IMF International Monetary Fund JKFTA Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement KDI Korea Development Institute (Korea) KFCA Korea Foreign Company Association KOSPI Korea Composite Stock Price Index MDP Millennium Democratic Party 22 Abbreviations and Acronyms MITI Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Japan) MNC Multinational corporation MOFE Ministry of Finance and the Economy (Korea) NGO Non-governmental organization NIC Newly industrialized country NIE New institutional economics OCA Optimum currency area OCR Overnight call rate OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development PPP Purchasing power parity RTA Regional trade agreement SARS Severe acute respiratory syndrome SEZ Special economic zone UMNO United Malays National Organisation (Malaysia) WTO World Trade Organization

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