South Korea’s and China’s catching-up: a new-developmentalist analysis

Vol. 40 No. 2 (2020)

Apr-Jun / 2020
Published April 1, 2020

How to Cite

Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos, Elias Jabbour, and Luiz Fernando de Paula. 2020. “South Korea’s and China’s Catching-Up: A New-Developmentalist Analysis”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 40 (2):264-84.

South Korea’s and China’s catching-up: a new-developmentalist analysis

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Professor Emeritus of Fundação Getulio Vargas – FGV, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Elias Jabbour
is lecturer at Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Econômicas da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – PPGCE-FCE-UERJ, Rio de Janeiro/ RJ, Brasil.
Luiz Fernando de Paula
is a lecturer of Instituto de Economia da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janerio – IE-UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 40 No. 2 (2020), Apr-Jun / 2020, Pages 264-284


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the catching-up processes of South Korea and post-1978 reforms China, based on a new-developmentalist approach that considers four fundamental factors: 1) a complementarity relationship between the state and the market as a dynamic process that changes over time; 2) necessary complementarity between macroeconomic policy and industrial policy; 3) the key role of public and development banks in attacking the problem of “development financing”; and a particular focus on 4) the centrality of exchange rate and balance of payments administration for the development process in these countries. The paper’s fundamental question is to what extent the catchingup process in these countries can be understood as the application of a new-developmentalist strategy, taking each country’s particular historical traits into account.

JEL Classification: O1; O5.

Keywords: East Asia China catching-up developmental macroeconomics new-developmentalist strategy.