How can Korea Raise its Future Potential Growth Rate?

Elena Ianchovichina & Danny Leipziger

Published: December 2008

Korea has achieved tremendous economic progress over the last three and a half decades, but in recent years growth has slowed down, and looking forward, most forecasters expect potential growth to decline substantially. The authors’ analysis of the key factors determining potential growth in Korea suggests that only if Korea implements swift reforms to address the low productivity of its service sector and prevent the decline in its labour supply, can the Korean economy achieve a doubling of its per capita income level by 2020. Without a rapid response this goal will be unachievable and the expected growth slowdown will be unavoidable. Reforms intended to boost productivity in services and labour force participation could help Korea sustain growth at double its expected real growth rate in the business-as-usual scenario in the period 2020–40.

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