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Government at a Glance: How Korea Compares

image of Government at a Glance: How Korea Compares

This report provides a series of indicators on Korea's policymaking practices and government performance compared to those of other OECD countries and of the G7 countries. Based on the Korean government reform objectives, this publication discusses how to strengthen evidence-based policymaking in the Korean public administration and, more generally, how to improve public service delivery and results for more inclusive growth. Although Korea is currently in an enviable fiscal situation compared to other OECD and G7 countries, the growing old-age-dependency ratio will inevitably increase budget pressures in the coming years. Concrete actions are therefore needed now to promote greater efficiency and value for money in public spending and public service delivery.

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Foreword and acknowledgements

The year 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Korea’s to the OECD. During these past 20 years, Korea has made remarkable improvements in the standard of living of its population, bringing the country very close to the average income per capita in OECD countries. This rise in living standards has been accompanied by a sharp increase in life expectancy and educational attainment, with the share of the population with tertiary degrees now being the highest across all OECD countries. However, despite these remarkable achievements, Korea still performs relatively poorly in some aspects of the OECD Better life Index, and the population reports very low trust in government and in public institutions more broadly. Furthermore, as in many other OECD countries, income inequality has widened over the past decade and poverty has increased, especially among older people, while the share of young people unemployed or not in employment or training is now above the OECD average. The Korean growth strategy, adopted in 2013, seeks fo foster a “creative economy”, in which entrepreneurship and job creation play a key role, accompanied by greater emphasis on social cohesion, including increased social spending. Effective, transparent and collaborative policy-making practices are crucial to achieving the ambitious economic and social objectives of the Korean government.

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