Development strategies and path dependence: Institutional elements for making sense of Brazil’s falling behind and South Korea’s forging ahead


  • Marcelo Arend Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis
  • Vinicius Zuniga Fagotti Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Glaison Augusto Guerrero Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre
  • Pedro Cezar Dutra Fonseca Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre
  • Julimar da Silva Bichara Universidad Autónoma de Madrid



industrial policy, late industrialization, Brazil, South Korea, institutional hysteresis


The present research aims to analyze two archetypal 20th century development strategy cases: Brazil’s and South Korea’s. During the last century, both countries had been experiencing catching up processes, but by the 1980’s Brazil started to lag behind while South Korea began to technologically and productively forge ahead. In light of this, this paper sustains that industrial policy choices and distinct institutional arrangements, set during the initial years of each country’s late industrialization process, were responsible for defining their different long term economic trajectories. A dialogue with Amsden’s work (2001) is proposed, through which we discuss her industrial policy bifurcation hypothesis regarding the so-termed countries of the “rest” in the 1980’s. By electing two emblematic members of such group, we seek to show how industrial policy choices made in the past still condition the two countries’ economic trajectories, especially so with regards to the degree with which knowledge intensive assets have been accumulated.


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How to Cite

Arend, M., Fagotti, V. Z., Guerrero, G. A., Fonseca, P. C. D., & Bichara, J. da S. (2023). Development strategies and path dependence: Institutional elements for making sense of Brazil’s falling behind and South Korea’s forging ahead. PSL Quarterly Review, 76(305), 155–180.