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Labor-Friendly Residualism: The Tax Structure in South Korea

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2020, 35(1), pp.269-304
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2020.35.1.009
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation
  • Received : July 9, 2020
  • Accepted : August 11, 2020
  • Published : August 31, 2020

Sung Ho Park 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Over the last past decades, the tax structure in South Korea has experienced notable changes that have gone beyond the previous framework of fiscal developmentalism. Existing studies have not yet provided thorough accounts of these new developments. In an effort to fill in this gap of research, the present study seeks to define new characteristics of the tax structure in South Korea, along with its long-lasting historical features. It finds the Korean tax structure presents a consistent pattern of ‘labor-friendly residualism.’ Within this overall feature, a new tax structure has emerged out of the previous developmentalist variant. In particular, it has increasingly turned to a hybrid model of existing OECD cases: residualism from English-speaking countries and labor-friendly dualism from Southern European countries. The author demonstrates the validity of these claims by examining various tax indicators (such as marginal statutory rates, average effective rates, and tax burdens as % of GDP) in comparison with other representative OECD cases.

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