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126BOOK REVIEWS Ch'an studies, providing as it does a refreshing and provocative approach to one of the most central issues in the field. Throughout Park's book, one senses that the topics he treats are matters of deep personal concern, and this perspective lends a certain intimacy to his writing that one is hard-pressed to find in most Western language works on Buddhist philosophical issues. Park's attempt to demonstrate the relevance of Korean Son thought to universal theological questions is also worthy of note. Indeed, he treats Korean Buddhism with the respect a living tradition deserves, rather than as a hermetically sealed repository of arcane lore that is of purely academic interest. Robert E. Buswell Jr. University of California, Berkeley Government Policy and Private Enterprise: Korean Experience in Industrialization . By Youngil Lim. Korean Research Monograph no. 6, Center for Korean Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California, 1981. xi, 106pp. $8.00. This monograph discusses the nature and impact of the Korean government's industrialization policies, mainly during the period between 1960 and the mid1970s .1 The monograph makes no significant original contribution to the literature on Korean industrialization, since few ofthe topics covered or the approaches used are new. Nor are the conclusions new: the elements contributing to the effectiveness of government policies in stimulating private enterprise to pursue Korea's comparative advantage through export-led industrialization have already been identified and described. Nonetheless, the monograph is a useful addition to the literature, since its reworking of previous analyses, using different data and slightly different approaches, adds further weight to results previously reported by others. Also, it provides an overview that differs somewhat in coverage from other articles and monographs on the same issues. In assessing government policy, Lim focuses first on government planning. He correctly concludes that Korean planning has not involved rigid control over resource allocation through direct commands to private firms, but that it has involved setting, in concert with the private sector, flexible targets (often changed and frequently exceeded) to guide private decision making and the administration of government policy instruments. He argues that the purpose and efficacy of planning in Korea derives from the way it is implemented: the process "reduces risks faced by entrepreneurs, generates and disseminates information (free of charge) about investments and sales opportunities, and instills expansion psychology , as has been done by Japanese planning" (p. 15). Lim's arguments and views in this respect are consistent with the emerging consensus on the character of Korean government planning in such areas as export target setting. However, he BOOK REVIEWS127 fails to recognize that government intervention in some areas—for example, in promoting key import-substituting projects—has been far more direct and, of late, less pragmatic and flexible. Lim's analysis thus does not illuminate the factors responsible for the severe economic problems Korea has faced since the late 1970s, problems involving important changes, neglected by Lim, in the nature of government planning and implementation. The monograph's principal failing as a primer on Korean industrial policy and development is its often inconsistent and vague assessment ofparticular policy instruments. As a result, the uninformed or nonspecialist reader may sometimes be left with the wrong impression. Lim's treatment of export incentives is a case in point. In his discussion explicitly analyzing these incentives, he correctly concludes that they cannot (with minor exceptions) properly be referred to as subsidies. Most of the incentives to exports merely removed the anti-export bias from tariffs and other protectionist policies used as additional measures to foster industrialization. Elsewhere in the monograph, however, Lim refers to these incentives as subsidies, often implying that they were in some sense inappropriate and unwarranted, as when he refers to the "myriad of contrived advantages for exporters" (p. 64). At least on the face of it, this implication is inconsistent with Lim's argument that the allocation of resources to exports increased the economy's efficiency. Lim views Korea's successful industrialization as being the result of initiatives by private enterprise in response to market forces augmented or enhanced by information from indicative planning under government leadership. Other analysts who...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 126-129
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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