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Income Inequality and Economic Growth: Differences between South Korea and Other Groups of Nations

  • Journal of Regional Studies and Development
  • Abbr : JRSD
  • 2015, 24(1), pp.283-307
  • Publisher : Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development: IPAID
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > Regional Studies in general > Comparative / Statistical Regional Studies

SangBoong Lee 1 Joon Han 2

1국민연금연구원
2연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this study, we investigate the relationship between inequality and economic growth. In particular, we examine (1) factors that have affected income inequality in the market and social arena during the past 30 years and (2) characteristics of South Korea that differentiate it from pro-market nations and pro-society nations. We find that South Korea differs in terms of the relationship between growth and inequality compared with the two nation groups examined. South Korea’s distinct characteristics and its path dependency reveal that it must follow its own path in executing socioeconomic policies. And we find that South Korea is likely to implement a growth-centered agenda and policy to address economic growth and inequality. That is, in market terms, a heavy emphasis on efficiency delivers results on the surface. However, in societal terms, economic inequality increases as a result of increasing labor flexibility, an inefficient social safety net and inflexible social mobility.

Citation status

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