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Creating your own path to move beyond the middle-income trap: lessons from Korea [Criando seu próprio caminho para ir além da armadilha de renda média: lições da Coréia]

Paulo Henrique Assis Feitosa
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Paulo Henrique Assis Feitosa: USP

Nova Economia, 2020, vol. 30, issue spe, 1145-1167

Abstract: The development experience observed in Korea has been a symbol of successful catch-up for several decades. This process allowed its upward transition from middle income to high-income status and has drawn the attention of many streams of scholars. More recently, emergent research has improved our understanding of this experience and its policy implications for developing countries (Lee, 2013; 2016; 2019). This paper proposes a review of what this literature has to say about the mechanisms behind the successful path followed by Korea and a discussion of lessons to overcome the middle-income trap. It is argued that latecomers do not limit themselves to follow the path of technological development of the advanced countries and that alternative paths are possible. The main policy implication for latecomers is that a successful catch-up is possible yet difficult to achieve because it requires taking detours and leapfroging into new technologies.

Keywords: Catch-up; South Korea; Middle-income trap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O21 O14 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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