- 歴史と経済 (ISSN:13479660)
- vol.58, no.3, pp.28-36, 2016-04-30 (Released:2018-04-30)
This paper focuses on the Korea-U.S. Combined Economic Board (CEB), which developed comprehensive policies for the Korean economy after the Korean War, and reconsiders presuppositions about the “development period” by examining economic recovery and stabilization under the American aid program.Rehabilitation and stabilization in the Korean economy were achieved through cooperation and opposition between Korea and the U.S. The CEB played a central role in this process. Although it is true that significant differences of opinion occurred over the amount and composition of economic aid, the accumulation and use of counterpart funds, and exchange rates, the MSA programs that integrated economic aid and military assistance ultimately caused more friction than did the philosophies of CEB participants. The result was issues over how Korea and the U.S. would share the economic expenses for post-war rehabilitation.Once the exchange rate was adjusted to meet the increase in prices, a system of cooperation between Korea and the U.S. was formulated, including exchanges in manpower, and management of the Korean economy became highly sophisticated. In particular, the Korean government implemented plans that succeeded in stabilizing the economy, enabling long-term maintenance of the exchange rate. In other words, from the mid-1950s on, Korea and the U.S. were able to avoid excessive friction. The introduction of large volumes of aid supplies enabled Korea to implement an array of projects and thereby to return to its prewar production levels, and long-term economic development plans were drawn up with U.S. support with the aim of enhancing Korea’s capacity for economic independence. The Korean government, however, seeking to stay in power, failed to rein in the sharp increase in prices, and was therefore unable to extend exchange-rate adjustments with the U.S. Ultimately, it faced an economic crisis that resulted in the early demise of its long-term economic development plans.The above shows that, contrary to the premise of “collapse” and “delay” presented in existing research, the Korean economy of the 1950s did achieve rehabilitation after the war, as well as economic stabilization, and was able to lay the groundwork for the “development period.” Fluctuations in economic aid are not enough to explain the process. That is, the rehabilitation and stabilization of the Korean economy would be impossible without the accumulation of experience and the resulting maturity of administrative capacity.