In the Republic of Korea, the overall impact of microelectronics (ME) on employment has not been as substantial as one might have anticipated. Productivity gains and labour savings have often been significant at the level of individual production lines and offices using ME machinery. But the diffusion of ME-based factory automation (FA) and office automation (OA) is still limited, and the rapid growth of industries such as automobile and electronics manufacturing has more than offset their labour-saving effect.1 The future impact of the new technology on the economy will depend primarily on two factors: the rate of expansion of these industries and their technological capacity to absorb and adapt imported technologies and eventually to develop indigenous ones. The former will be determined to an important degree by the latter. At the same time, imported microelectronics may have a significant bearing on the development of the indigenous technological capacity of the Korean industry. For example, Lee (1986) and Kim (1987) report cases of development of industrial robots and CAD units by local firms in their efforts at import substitution or adaptation of imports to local conditions. In the present study, we address ourselves to this subject.
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- The Republic of Korea
Hak K. Pyo
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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