Asia Pacific Dynamism 1550-2000: Volume 1 (Routledge Studies in the Growth Economies of Asia)
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By contrast, Japanese rice markets appear to have been as well integrated as in modern Korea today. Even in China rice markets were better integrated than in Korea. But when Japan annexed Korea in , market integration was speeded up by railways, telegraphs, telephones, and the adoption of market reforms including property rights and a modern currency system. So Japanese colonialization effectively introduced an integrated national rice market in Korea. What was true for rice was presumably true of other goods. As for labour markets, free and slave labour existed side-by-side before Japanese rule.
On the eve of Japanese annexation wage differentials between regions were markedly higher than in Japan. Real wages also showed marked regional differences. But after annexation these differences shrank and from the second decade of Japanese rule a national market for unskilled labour began to emerge. This was similar to what happened in Meiji Japan and, incidentally, Prussia. As for the capital market, at the beginning of colonial rule about , interest rates were 40 to 50 per cent per year in the unregulated moneylending market, and 11 to 14 per cent per year in the regulated modern banking sector.
These rates held through the s in both sectors and then decreased during the s. But in the s after the chaos of the Korean War unregulated rates were as high as in the s, and the differential with the regulated sector was similar to those days. The implication is that unlike goods and labour, a modern integrated capital market was not introduced under Japanese rule, and has not been established since. Policies to make South Korea self-reliant after the US withdrawal from Vietnam included financial restrictions which prevented liberalization of the capital market.
Latham and Heita Kawakatsu been discredited for countries in nineteenth-century Europe, it may be relevant to South Korea after the Pacific war. Gerschenkron argues that for a late-comer to succeed there must be a sudden spurt of growth in the economy. There must also be rapid and substantial structural change moving resources to dynamic sectors, and government industrial policy must be systematically applied to achieve this.
New dynamic infant industries must be created and helped to grow and mature, and they will embody the success of the entire policy. These features do seem to be present in South Korea. The government actively promoted infant industries by giving them subsidies and protection. Large government sponsored conglomerates managed investment in major projects and dynamic industries. Heavy and chemical industries were promoted as infant industries, and they flourished and grew.
Hans Bass was also concerned with developments since the Pacific War, and examined the export performance of both Taiwan and Mainland China since These may be technological innovations or the opening of new markets. Later came technology-based products, which became ever more advanced. China was a much more inward looking economy, and only exported agricultural products and textiles.
Petroleum products then became important, but were hit by declining world prices, and were then followed by a range of simple manufactures. Only very recently has China started to produce more advanced technology-based products, and is still a long way behind Taiwan in the sophistication of these goods.
The Taiwan authorities gave duty relief on items which were imported to produce exports, and established export processing zones in which newcomers were encouraged. In China the main stimulus to exporters was to free them from the restrictions of the central plan, although this liberation was only really effective in the s. From this time foreign direct investment was encouraged in export industries.
Effectively China was following a similar path to Taiwan, but a step behind. The relative difference in size of the two economies has to be borne in mind.
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As the export sectors of the two economies grew, economic linkages developed. Taiwanese entrepreneurs made direct investments in China in export-orientated industries, particularly where lower labour and input costs were important. They were split up into smaller units during the s, as China moved towards a market Introduction 5 economy.
Now direct contact and investment from Taiwan became much easier. So China was able to move towards more sophisticated technology-based exports, although there is still a long way to go. China continues to lack flexibility in its domestic economy and export sector, and some state industries, like the textiles industry, are hopelessly outdated and lacking in investment. Taiwan with its many small family enterprises is much more flexible. But family businesses have limitations in technologically-advanced world markets, so Taiwan may need to move to larger corporations, and China may need to continue splitting its huge government enterprises into smaller, more market-conscious units.
Opportunities for more interaction between Taiwan and China may continue in an ever more complex world market situation.
Clayton looked at industrialization in yet another Asian country, in this case Hong Kong to Institutional evolution reduces transaction costs, and so stimulates economic development by giving lower prices in international markets. In Hong Kong there was originally an ethnic divide between Chinese business organizations, and the European dominated Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce founded in The Chinese organizations were based on the many dialect groups, and the first point of reference to a Chinese businessman was his family and clan.
Meanwhile the Chamber of Commerce, with its links to other chambers of commerce round the world, was able to regulate trade and provide information for European merchants involved in world markets. Links with the Chinese business community were arranged through compradors who acted as go-betweens. Faced with the problems of reconstruction after , the Hong Kong Government took a more active role in the commerce of the Colony, and established the Department of Trade and Industry.
The Chamber of Commerce felt this encroached on their activities, but changed their view after when the Chinese Communist embargo blocked trade with Hong Kong. Now the Chinese businessmen who had worked the China trade were forced to look for business elsewhere. They were not members of the Chamber, and the Chamber realized there was a need to help and regulate them. Thus over time informal networks merged into formal institutions, then the state intervened to take over the supervision of these activities.
Random shocks like the Pacific War and the Chinese embargo brought about change, rather than straightforward economic evolution. Rapid industrialization in the s also encouraged businessmen to accept state assistance in terms of information and regulation. He investigated the role of education in the development process of these countries.
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They enjoyed the highest growth rates in the world between and , and living standards more than quadrupled. Income levels in Hong Kong and Singapore moved close to those of Western nations. This spectacular 6 A. Latham and Heita Kawakatsu growth was brought about by increased factor inputs, high investment, rising participation rates and inter-sectoral movements of labour, rather than improvements in total factor productivity. Of key importance was education. These countries maintained their faith in the human capital revolution.
So was human resource development the key to their prosperity?
Aldcroft points out that even in the s they had an advantage that many other Asian countries lacked, a good level of access to elementary education and a high literacy rate. By the s primary school enrolment almost matched those of Western nations, and by the s literacy rates were close to 80 per cent in all four countries. The pattern of educational improvement began with a high priority on basic education, then expansion in secondary and tertiary education.
There was also vocational training as the skill requirements of the economy became more demanding. Basic primary education was funded largely by the state in all countries, but private sources made a significant contribution at higher levels. There were, however, differences between the four countries, particularly in the tertiary sector. Technical and vocational education expanded in all countries from the s, especially in South Korea and Taiwan. What is significant is that these countries had a relatively high endowment of human capital prior to the onset of their modern economic growth.
Thus it seems that to modernize, countries needed a highly articulate and mobile labour force which was able to develop and utilize new technology and ideas. Tentative estimates suggest that 11—15 per cent of East Asian growth was due to the contribution of education or human capital improvement, and these may be underestimates. Education may also have played an important role in reinforcing national identities and achieving social cohesion in the disarray of the years after the Pacific War.
So Aldcroft argues that these four East Asian countries could not have transformed themselves into super-growth states without a concerted effort to raise the quality of their human capital stock. Education was an integral part of their modernization. Akinobu Kuroda studied the monetized economy of traditional China. He notes that John Hicks believed that money was created by merchants, who needed a convenient means of payment.
Coins of a particular intrinsic value could be acceptably exchanged for items of equivalent intrinsic value.
But Hicks thought that in China the idea of intrinsic value was bypassed, and from the beginning coins were just tokens to make payments.