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Geography of Korea

e." hard" currency like dollars, yen, and D-marks, plus gold). As in Japan, government plays a key role in the economy as guide, facilitator, occasional financier, enforcer of social and labor peace, and, most importantly, as educator of the work force. The latter has been perhaps the most crucial reason for South Korea's economic transformation in the past three decades. Most likely this is because it has produced a highly productive, relatively cheap force of workers that is highly competitive in the global economy that has emerged in recent times. The benefits accruing from this factor include the attraction of foreign investment, which the country sorely needed in the 1960's when it lacked domestic capital and savings. Also, such an efficient work force helps make exports attractive, which enabled South Korea to exploit foreign markets like the US, because the South Korean domestic one was still poor three decades ago. Thus, South Korea's economic policies provide a textbook case for the Third World on how to achieve economic "takeoff" out of the poverty and misery of underdevelopment.

Another crucial factor in South Korea's economic development is the stabilization of population growth (Hoare, 1988). At .9 percent, the rate is low and comparable to most developed countries, like Japan and Western Europe (but not the US where immigration is a major factor). However, most importantly, the birth rate has declined precipitously since 1962, when the government started officially promoting family planning and contraception (e.g., from an average of 6.1 children per child-bearing woman in 1960 to less than 2.0 in 1986). South Korea (like Japan) exemplifies how a traditional society that previously believed in a maximum of children, now emphasizes quality of life for smaller quantities of children. Thus, South Korea's official government promotion of family planning provides another key paradigm for the Third World -- wit...

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Geography of Korea. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:05, August 18, 2017, from
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