Japan and Korea: a comparison

done in an interesting piece by John Hempton titled A tale of two banking crises: Japan and Korea. I think a really important point Hempton made that doesn’t get enough attention is the fact that Japan’s postwar economic and social systems are not that different than the prewar configurations.  Even though Japan is nominally a democratic country, the structure of electoral districts and the system of distribution of government spending subsidizes vested interests and serves as a hindrance for policy change.  The power of the unelected bureaucrats in national ministries such as the Ministry of Finance is strong, and this interest group resists change in the system as well.

I think that South Korea’s citizens have been better served by their system.  Even though South Korea went through a sharper recession, the following sharper recovery was partly a result of major economic restructuring driven by the collapse.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks. You are right but the systems are not that dissimilar. Korea was barely a democracy prior to the crisis either – indeed the crisis improved the Korean democracy.

    The crisis changed the systems so only post crisis were they different.

    J

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