Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Economics; Asian Studies

Project Advisor 1

Sanjaya Desilva

Project Advisor 2

Gautam Sethi

Abstract/Artist's Statement

One of the crucial preconditions for growth in the East Asian Economic Miracle were high levels of human capital, yet an explanation for their origin has not been forthcoming in the economic literature. This project investigates the origin of these high levels of human capital in South Korea through the frameworks of induced development and labor-intensive growth. By examining both long-term processes and the effect of policies during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) in the Korean countryside, it's argued that labor-intensive modes of production, particularly in the case of rice cultivation, induced changes in economic preferences and behaviors. These shifts encouraged household investment in education. A working definition of labor-intensive growth is constructed and employed with data from Japanese archival, census, and survey documents for a cross-sectional regression analysis. Though in many cases labor intensity was shown to have a correlation with education, the effects were strongly differentiated by sex and by region. Further research should focus on different ways labor-intensive growth affects male and female workers.

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.

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