2003 OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2003

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This 2003 edition of OECD's periodic review of Korea's economy  examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects and includes special features on reforming the public expenditure system and structural reform.

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Structural Reform to Maintain High Growth

Rapid growth beginning in the 1960s transformed Korea from one of the poorest countries in the world to an industrialised nation with a per capita income more than half of the OECD average (Figure 31). However, certain aspects of Korea’s economic framework left it vulnerable to contagion from the crisis that began in Southeast Asia in mid-1997. In the wake of the crisis, Korea launched a major restructuring programme to create a more market-based economy. Progress in implementing these reforms, which has been examined in the past four OECD Economic Surveys of Korea, laid a foundation for strong growth and allowed the convergence to income levels in the advanced countries to resume, after having been temporarily reversed by the crisis. Measures taken since the 2001 Survey are summarised in Box 8.

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