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Human Capital and Development

Lessons and Insights from Korea's Transformation Ju-Ho Lee, Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Hyeok Jeong, Professor, Graduate School of International Studies and Seoul National University and Song Chang Hong, Director, Division of Planning and Evaluation, Center for International Development, Korea Development Institute
During recent decades, Korea has been one of only a handful of countries that have made the successful transformation to become a developed nation by simultaneously achieving persistent economic growth combined with a democratic political system. Experts and political leaders worldwide have attributed this achievement to investments in people or, in other words, the power of education. Whilst numerous books have highlighted the role of industrial policies, technological growth, and international trade in Korea’s development process, this is one of the first to focus on the role of human capital. It shows how the accumulation of human capital aided transformation and helps explain the policies, strategies and challenges that Korea faces now and in the future.
Extent: c 336 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: May 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 696 2
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78643 697 9

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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Development
  • Asian Economics
  • Economics and Finance
  • Asian Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Economics of Education
  • Labour Economics
  • Education
  • Economics of Education
  • Education Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Education Policy
Over the last 70 years, Korea has experienced a rapid and remarkable transformation from a devastatingly poor nation to one of the world's leading advanced economies, achieving both sustained economic growth and a successful democracy. This pioneering work focuses on the key role of sustained investment in human capital behind Korea’s phenomenal success.

Human Capital and Development analyzes the importance of balancing diverse aspects of the educational system at different stages of development. The need to balance general and vocational education, top-down and bottom-up reform, as well as qualitative and quantitative expansion are highlighted. Korea’s development experience adapted to general principles shows that rather than seeking universal strategies and rules, the key to successful transformation is the provision of educational systems that can evolve over time depending on socio-economic and technological conditions for both developing and advanced countries.

For researchers and students of economic development, education, and Asian development, this book is an excellent tool to discover possible ways for developing countries to initiate and accelerate their paths of economic growth and development. This book also provides a useful reference for policy makers of advanced as well as developing countries in designing their education systems and policies.
‘I want to congratulate Dr. Ju-Ho Lee and his colleagues Professor Hyeok Jeong and Dr. Song Chang Hong on this remarkable book. At a time when the global community seeks to rise to – and meet – the Sustainable Development Goal promise, a book such as this is certain to hasten our efforts and inspire further action. The message this text carries, that when leaders invest in the creation of knowledge through universal education and skills development innovation and economic growth will follow, cannot be ignored. Korea is a fitting example of, and testament to, this truth.’
– From the Foreword by Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education
Contents: Foreword Introduction 1. Accumulating Human Capital for Sustainable Development 2. Education Bubble and Widening Inequality 3. Making Education Diversification Reform Happen 4. Turning Around Failing Vocational High Schools 5. Deteriorating Skills and Weak Life-long Learning 6. Fostering Project-Based Learning and Performance Assessment 7. Stimulating High-Risk High-Payoff Research 8. Nuts and Bolts of the Aid for TVET Reference Index