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Transformations in the Korean and Brazilian processes of capitalist development between the mid-1950s and the mid-2000s: the political economy of late industrialisation.

Grinberg, Nicolas (2011) Transformations in the Korean and Brazilian processes of capitalist development between the mid-1950s and the mid-2000s: the political economy of late industrialisation. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the specificities of Late-industrialisation, focussing on Korea and Brazil. The growth and development experience of both economies between the mid-1950s and the mid-2000s is explained in terms of their pattern of integration into the international division of labour. Challenging conventional accounts, the thesis does not consider these patterns as resulting simply from economic policies and institutions, but rather determined by global economy developments and their interaction with local structural factors that affect the conditions of valorisation of capital in different productive sectors. This thesis argues that the Brazilian process of capitalist development revolved around the appropriation of land rent – i.e. extraordinary profits available due to the monopoly of an irreproducible means of production, land. Industrial capital was able to maximise profits despite producing for domestic markets at relatively small scale. Capital compensated for its high production costs by appropriating a portion of the abundant land rent. Since the late-1960s, industrial capital in Korea maximised profits through the production for world markets, taking advantage of relatively cheap and disciplined labour. Due to skill-replacing technological changes associated with computerisation and electronics-based automation, and its own historical origins and characteristics, Korean labour became particularly productive when performing simplified, though increasingly complex, activities as an appendage of machinery or in the manual assembly of components. The analysis and findings are supported by a three-pronged methodology. First, a model that measures intersectoral income transfers and assesses the value of land rent that supported the process of capital accumulation in each country. Secondly, an analysis of the global steel, motor-vehicles and semiconductors industries, and their development in Korea and Brazil. Thirdly, an appraisal of the historical development of social and political processes in the two countries and their role in shaping the evolution of economic, welfare and labour policies and political institutions. The research shows the intrinsic unity of these three factors, revealing specific transformations in Korea and Brazil as part of the realisation of the global process of capitalist development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Nicolas Grinberg
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Economic History
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/165

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