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.



Over the past 35 years, the Korean population has benefited from remarkable improvements in standards of living. In 2014, Korea’s per capita income reached more than 85% and close to 80% of that in other OECD and G7 countries respectively; compared to slightly more than 20% in the early 1980s (Figure 1). This catching up in standards of living with other OECD and G7 countries has been steady, with the exception of the Asian financial crisis at the end of the 1990s. Public governance has been crucial in supporting an export-driven economic growth model led mainly by very large conglomerates (chaebols companies). income as a share of that in the G7 countries is stagnating. In addition, productivity growth is expected to remain limited in the coming years while income inequalities and poverty are rising (especially among the elderly) (OECD, 2014).



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