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close this bookTechnological Independence The Asian experience (UNU, 1994, 372 pages)
close this folder3. The Republic of Korea
View the documentPreamble
View the documentHistory
View the documentDevelopment policies and strategies from the 1960s to the 1980s
View the documentThe plans
View the documentImpact on the agricultural and industrial sectors
View the documentScience and technology in korea before the 1960s
View the documentThe role of science and technology in recent development
View the documentScience and technology and the exogenous environment
View the documentEducation and training
View the documentResearch and development
View the documentReassessment of the policy and strategy
View the documentAchievements in industrial development
View the documentThe electronics industry as a case-study
View the documentSelf-reliance targets at each stage
View the documentProblems and issues
View the documentFuture plan for self-reliance of science and technology
View the documentThe long-term goals and strategy of national development
View the documentRole of science and technology for future development
View the documentLong-term goal of S&T development
View the documentSumming-up and regional cooperation
View the documentRegional cooperation
View the documentBibliography

Impact on the agricultural and industrial sectors

In its development, the Korean economy showed a disparity between agricultural and industrial growth. This had several causes, among them the changes in the structure of foreign demand, the changes in domestic demand as per capita income rose, the policies that favoured industrialization for export, the uneven expansion of factor inputs, the unequal increases in productivity between the sectors, the different rates of adoption of new technologies, and the fact that the industrial sector received priority in the government's economic plans.

There was a wide disparity between agricultural and industrial growth of total output as well as output per worker. Table 2 shows the employment and output per worker in both sectors during the 1962 - 1984 period. The growth of output per worker has been substantial, for two reasons. One is intersectoral, a result of the changes in the distribution of employment as workers shifted to sectors where output per worker was high. The other is intrasectoral, a result of increasing output per worker in any given sector. The output per worker in the agricultural sector was high; yet the disparity, as a ratio, has remained roughly unchanged. During this period the distribution of employment shifted substantially from the agricultural to the industrial sector.

Table 2. Sectoral employment and output per worker


Agriculture and forestry

Industrial sector


Employment

Output per worker

Employment

Output per worker

Year

No. (thousands)

%

(thousands of won)

No. (thousands)

%

(thousands of won)

1963

4,822

60.7

42

631

7.9

116

1964

4,906

59.8

63

671

8.2

166

1965

4,603

56.1

64

772

9.4

188

1966

4,695

55.7

74

833

9.9

232

1967

4,598

52.7

82

1,021

11.7

234

1968

4,582

50.0

93

1,170

12.8

280

1969

4,687

49.8

120

1,232

13.1

350

1970

4,826

49.5

141

1,284

13.2

436

1971

4,785

47.3

175

1,336

13.3

530

1972

5,110

48.4

200

1,445

13.7

635

1973

5,260

47.2

229

1,774

15.9

753

1974

5,304

45.8

327

2,012

17.4

948

1975

5,123

42.3

451

2,205

18.6

1,190

1976

5,323

42.4

570

2,678

21.3

1,412

1977

5,161

39.9

690

2,798

21.6

1,732

1978

4,920

36.5

903

3,016

22.4

2.213

1979

4,642

34.0

1,121

3,126

22.9

2.751

1980

4,433

32.3

1,095

2,972

21.7

3.602

1981

4,560

32.5

1.468

2.872

20.4

4.555

1982

4,324

30.0

1,611

3,047

21.1

4.755

1983

4,043

27.9

1,828

3,275

22.6

4.984

1984

3,726

25.8

2,201

3,351

23.2

5,688

Sources: GNP: Bank of Korea (BOK). Economic Statistics Yearbook, 1985; employment: EPB Annual Reports on the Economically Active Population, 1985.

The heavy concentration of industry in large cities and industrial complexes probably helped the export effort, but also resulted in a rural-urban income disparity. Since the early 1970s, there has been an attack on this unbalanced regional growth. One important objective of new policies has been to create more industrial jobs in the rural areas and thus expand off-farm employment opportunities.