Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans - REBOOTED, Part VI: Zhang Bao and Chang Ha-joon - Korea's Counter-Capitalism Economist

Chang Ha-joon (Hangul/Hanja: 장하준/張夏准; born October 7th, 1963 in Seoul) is one of the leading heterodox economists and institutional economists specialising in development economics. Currently a Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge, Chang is the author of several widely-discussed policy books, most notably Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002). Chang was ranked by Prospect Magazine as one of the top World Thinkers in 2013. 

Chang Ha-joon is son of former Minister of Commerce Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea and Assemblyman of Seoul Seodaemun-eul (Seodaemun-gu 2nd Electoral District), Chang Jae-sik, brother of historian and philosopher of science in the University of Cambridge, Chang Ha-sŏk, and cousin of prominent economist and professor at Korea University, Chang Ha-seong. He is a member of Indong Jang Clan (인동 장씨/仁同張氏), a clan which is originated from the administrative precinct of Indong-dong, Gumi City, Northern Gyeongsang Province.

He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank as well as to Oxfam and various United Nations agencies. He is also a fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. In addition, Chang serves on the advisory board of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP). Chang is also known for being an important academic influence on the economist Rafael Correa, currently President of Ecuador.

After graduating from Seoul National University Department of Economics, he trained at the University of Cambridge, earning a PhD for thesis titled The political economy of industrial policy - reflections on the role of state intervention in 1991. Chang's contribution to heterodox economics started while studying under Robert Rowthorn, a leading British Marxist economist, with whom he worked on the elaboration of the theory of industrial policy, which he described as a middle way between central planning and unrestrained free market. His work in this area is part of a broader approach to economics known as institutionalist political economy which places economic history and socio-political factors at the centre of the evolution of economic practices.

In his book Kicking Away the Ladder (which won the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy's 2003 Gunnar Myrdal Prize), Chang argued that all major developed countries used interventionist economic policies in order to get rich and then tried to forbid other countries from doing similarly. The World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund come in for strong criticism from Chang for "ladder-kicking" of this type which, he argues, are the fundamental obstacle to poverty alleviation in the developing world. This and other work led to his being awarded the 2005 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought from the Global Development and Environment Institute (previous prize-winners include Amartya Sen, John Kenneth Galbraith, Herman Daly, Alice Amsden and Robert Wade).

The book's methodology was criticized by Douglas Irwin, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and author of a 2011 study of the Smoot-Hawley tariff,writing on the website of the Economic History Association:
"Chang only looks at countries that developed during the nineteenth century and a small number of the policies they pursued. He did not examine countries that failed to develop in the nineteenth century and see if they pursued the same heterodox policies only more intensively. This is a poor scientific and historical method. Suppose a doctor studied people with long lives and found that some smoked tobacco, but did not study people with shorter lives to see if smoking was even more prevalent. Any conclusions drawn only from the observed relationship would be quite misleading."

In contrast, Stanley Engerman, Professor of Economic History at Rochester University praised Chang's approach:
"Chang Ha-joon has examined a large body of historical material to reach some very interesting and important conclusions about institutions and economic development. Not only is the historical picture re-examined, but Chang uses this to argue the need for a changing attitude to the institutions desired in today's developing nations. Both as historical reinterpretation and policy advocacy, "Kicking Away the Ladder?" deserves a wide audience among economists, historians, and members of the policy establishment."

Following up on the ideas of Kicking Away the Ladder, Chang published Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism in December 2008. Chang countered Irwin´s criticisms by arguing that countries that had failed to develop had generally followed free market policies. Chang also argued that while state interventionism sometimes produced economic failures, it had a better record than unregulated free market economies which, he maintained, very rarely succeeded in producing economic development. He cited evidence that GDP growth in developing countries had been higher prior to external pressures recommending deregulation and extended his analysis to the failures of free trade to induce growth through privatisation and anti-inflationary policies. Chang's book won plaudits from Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz but was criticised by former World Bank economist William Easterly, who said that Chang used selective evidence in his book. Chang responded to Easterly's criticisms, asserting that Easterly misread his argument. Easterly in turn provided a counter-reply. Chang's 2014 book, Economics: The User's Guide, is an introduction to economics, accessibly written for the general public. It is the first title in Penguin's revived new Pelican Books series.

Chang Ha-joon's Publications

  • The political economy of industrial policy (St. Martin's Press; 1994)
  • Intellectual property rights and economic development: historical lessons and emerging issues (pamphlet) (TWN; 2001)
  • Who benefits from the new international intellectual property rights regime?: and what should Africa do? (pamphlet) (ATPSN; 2001)
  • Joseph Stiglitz and the World Bank: the rebel within (collection of Stiglitz speeches) (Anthem; 2001)
  • Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (Anthem; 2002) ISBN 978-1-84331-027-3
  • Globalization, Economic Development, and the Role of the State (essay collection) (Zed Books; 2002) ISBN 978-1-84277-143-3
  • Restructuring Korea Inc. [Kor: 주식회사 한국의 구조조정 무엇이 문제인가/Jusikhoesa Hankook-ui Gujo Jojeong Mueos-i Munje-inga] (with Shin Jang-sup/신장섭) (Routledge; 2003) ISBN 978-0-415-27865-2
  • Reclaiming development: an alternative economic policy manual (with Ilene Grabel) (Zed; 2004)
  • The Politics of Trade and Industrial Policy in Africa: Forced Consensus (edited with Charles Chukwuma Soludo & Osita Ogbu) (Africa World Press; 2004) ISBN 978-1592211654
  • The Reform Trap [Kor: 개혁의 덫/Gaehyeok-ui Deot], Bookie, Seoul, 2004 (collection of essays in Korean)
  • Cutting the Gordian Knot – An Analysis of the Korean Economy [Kor: 쾌도난마 한국경제/Kwaedo-nanma Hankook-Kyungje] Bookie, Seoul, 2005 (in Korean) (co-author: Jeong Seung-il/정승일) ISBN 978-89-85989-83-1
  • Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism [Kor: 나쁜 사마리아인들: 장하준의 경제학 파노라마/Nappeun Samaria-in-deul: Jang Hajun-ui Gyeongje-hak Panorama] (Bloomsbury; 2008) ISBN 978-1-59691-598-5
  • 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism [Kor: 그들이 말하지 않는 23가지/Geudeur-i Malhaji Anneun Isipsam Gaji] (Penguin Books Ltd; 2010) ISBN 978-1-60819-166-6
  • Economics: The User's Guide (Pelican Books; 2014) ISBN 978-0718197032

Papers and articles
  • The East Asian development experience: the miracle, the crisis and the future (Zed; 2006) ISBN 978-1-84277-141-9
  • Economic History of the Developed World: Lessons for Africa Economic History of the Developed World: Lessons for Africa 2009
  • Industrial Policy: Can Africa do it? July 2012
  • Chang (ed.). Institutional Change and Economic Development. Tokyo 2007.
  • Kicking Away the Ladder: The "Real" History of Free Trade, Ha-Joon Chang, Foreign Policy, 30 December 2003
  • Foreign Investment Regulation in Historical Perspective Lessons for the Proposed WTO Investment Agreement, Ha-Joon Chang, Global Policy, March 2003
  • Why there is no such thing called a 'Free Market', Ha-Joon Chang, Truthout, 7 June 2011

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