Innovation and Economic Catch-Up in Asia

photo: Keun LeeThe Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies is pleased to join with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawaii at Manoa Depart­ment of Eco­nom­ics in pre­sent­ing this year’s Sei­ji Naya Asia-Pacif­ic Lec­ture. The lec­ture will be deliv­ered by Keun Lee, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Eco­nom­ic Catch-up and pro­fes­sor of eco­nom­ics at Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty. His top­ic is “Inno­va­tion and Eco­nom­ic Catch-Up in Asia: Why Mid­dle-Income Nations Fail.”

The lec­ture will be pre­sent­ed in the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies audi­to­ri­um on Fri­day, Octo­ber 11, 2013, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A recep­tion will fol­low. The lec­ture is free and open to the pub­lic.

image: book coverPro­fes­sor Lee will dis­cuss the research find­ings pub­lished in his new book, Schum­peter­ian Analy­sis of Eco­nom­ic Catch-up: Knowl­edge, Path-Cre­ation, and the Mid­dle-Income Trap (Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press). Lee has ana­lyzed the rea­sons why some Asian coun­tries, includ­ing Chi­na, have man­aged to move, or are mov­ing, beyond the so-called mid­dle-income trap to catch up with the most advanced economies of the world while oth­ers, in Latin Amer­i­ca, for exam­ple, have failed to do so.

Lee’s study is one of the first to apply meth­ods of using patent data to ana­lyze inno­va­tion sys­tems at the coun­try, sec­tor and firms lev­els in order to explore their impact on eco­nom­ic per­for­mance. His book also offers a com­pre­hen­sive pol­i­cy frame­work for eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, from a Schum­peter­ian per­spec­tive focused on tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion, to show how to achieve sus­tained eco­nom­ic growth beyond the lev­el of the mid­dle incomes.

Keun Lee holds a Ph.D. degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. He has been a con­sul­tant at the World Bank; a lec­tur­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Aberdeen, Scot­land; and a research fel­low at the East-West Cen­ter. His main research top­ic is the eco­nom­ics of catch-up with a focus on the role of busi­ness groups, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and growth, indus­tri­al pol­i­cy, inno­va­tion and tech­nol­o­gy pol­i­cy, and sys­tem tran­si­tion in the con­text of Korea, Chi­na, and oth­er Asian economies.