Korea under Siege, 1876-1945: Capital Formation and Economic Transformation


"The Korean economy was transformed from the opening of the hermit kingdom in 1876 to the end of Japanese rule in 1945. In Korea under Siege, Young-Iob Chung focuses on capital formation, economic growth, and structural changes. The so-called miraculous economic development in the southern half of the Korean peninsula has transformed the region from an agrarian economy to that of a major industrial power in a very short time period. South Korea is now considered one of a dozen industrialized countries in the world. However, there has been little careful analysis of the heritage of the Korean economy in the traditional and transitional periods from which it launched into a modern phenomenal economic success. The approach in this study is behavioral and analytical more than historical. Chung supports this analysis with quantitative data without being mathematical, statistical, or technical. Although narratives of Korean economic history before 1945 are scarce in English, Korea under Siege builds its analysis from data and narrative description from English-, Japanese-, and Korean-language original sources."


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