Chapter

The Triumph of Steel

Alice H. Amsden

in Asia's Next Giant

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195076035
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870691 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195076036.003.0012
The Triumph of Steel

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This chapter examines the hypothesis that climbing the ladder of comparative advantage is a matter of creating competitiveness, usually with government assistance, rather than stepping into it. The evidence comes from South Korea's integrated iron‐ and steel‐maker (the Pohang Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., POSCO), which is the centerpiece of basic industry and a public enterprise. The chapter discusses POSCO's founding in 1968; its profitability and subsidization; international competition; foreign technical assistance and the nature of steel‐making technology; POSCO's initial prioritization of increasing volume production, and the later shift to improving product quality and introducing new products; shop‐floor focus; and cross‐subsidization.

Keywords: foreign technical assistance; government assistance; iron and steel industry; market competition; Pohang Iron and Steel; profitability; South Korea; subsidization

Chapter.  9295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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