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East Asia and Eastern Europe in a Globalized Perspective

Lessons from Korea and Estonia


Bernhard Seliger, Jüri Sepp and Ralph Wrobel

This book compares development experiences from South Korea and Estonia, which are both very successful examples of development within their region. The development experience of states in the 20th century offers a bewildering variety and often downright contradicting models, which nevertheless led to catching-up and rapid growth rates, leaving policy-makers in countries trying to emulate such models at a loss. Over time and through various crises on the regional and worldwide level, the experience of East Asian states became increasingly an interesting object of study. This was related to the successful long-term growth experience of countries like South Korea, but also to successful models of state transformation, which, though in a different political setting, achieved high growth rates without the deep transformation recession typical for European transformation states.
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The Characteristics and Position of the Economic Structures of Estonia and Korea among the OECD Countries


1.  Introduction

Prior research has shown that when it comes to time and regional variation, the behaviour of the various industries of the economy tends to be contingent upon each other.1 The variance of their relative importance is linked regardless. This in turn allows us to pose the question of not only an overarching trend of structural change but also one of economic typology and to study the placement and movement of countries within the said typology. The topic of varying economic structure between countries was brought up by Wacziarg/Imbs (2000) and from a convergence viewpoint by Wacziarg (2001) specifically. Unfortunately, not many in-depth studies on the subject have been done to date. Studies on structural convergence include Höhenberger/ Schmiedeberg (2008) and Melihovs/Kasjanovs (2011). The latter have also attempted to find a structural typology among European countries by utilising cluster analyses. Paas et al. (2009) and Sepp (2009) have combined factor and cluster analyses to show that European countries may be divided into certain groups which can be characterised by specific traits:

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