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Current address of inequality in Korea as measured by the Gini coefficient

  • Date 2024-02-28
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Video Description

Type: KIHASA Policy Featurette

Topic: Current address of inequality in Korea as measured by the Gini coefficient

Guest Speaker: Lee, Tae Soo, President, KIHASA


Measured by the Gini coefficient, Korea is one of those OECD countries where income inequality is egregiously high. Its inequality is lower than that of the U.S. and Japan, but obviously higher than that of the advanced welfare states in Europe. However, there is a glimmer of hope when we look at the year-on-year trends of inequality in Korea. Let us first observe the Gini coefficients derived from annual Household Income and Expenditure Surveys up to 2016. Inequality in Korea began growing worse in the late 1990s in the wake of the Foreign Currency Exchange Crisis and kept worsening until the late 2000s. Fortunately, starting in the 2010s, inequality declined. This has resulted from the expansion of social security policies, including the implementation of the basic pension, the strengthening of the basic livelihood security system, and the introduction of the earned income tax credit.

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