Factor Supply and Factor Intensity of Trade in Korea.—By Wontack Hong. Korea Development Institute, Seoul, Korea. 1976.

Surraiya Nishat


The main purpose of the book is to investigate the changes in
the factor intensity of Korea's trade. The time span covered for the
analysis is 1960-1973, the period during which Korea experienced both
rapid capital accumulation and a prodigious expansion of manufactured
exports. The book contains 12 chapters in all. Following an introductory
note, Chapter 1 presents an overview of growth and trade in Korea. It is
shown that annual commodity exports of Korea, which amounted to less
than 100 million before 1962, increased at an average annual rate of 40%
during 1962-73 and were around $3200 million in 1973 and §4500 million
in 1974. The share of manufactured goods in total commodity exports,
which never exceeded the 20 percent level during 1953-61, steadily
increased thereafter and had reached a level of over 90 percent after
1970. It is further shown that in the Sixties in Korea, import
substitution and export expansion went concomitantly and that private
entrepreneures determined the allocation of resources. However, in the
Seventies, the government encouraged entrepreneurs to diversify exports
away from unskilled labour-intensive manufactures, for example, textiles
and ply-wood, to relatively skill intensive and moderately
capital-intensive manufacturing, such as the ship-building and machinery
industries. This was necessary if the coun¬try was to take full
advantage of the changing comparative costs which were becoming apparent
in her foreign trade.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v16i3pp.347-349


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