Yangkyoon Byeon, Kwanghae Choi, Heenam Choi, and Jun I. Kim
Korea is facing mounting economic challenges. Productivity growth has been on a trend decline amid demographic headwinds, while the societal demand for inclusive growth has been on a steep rise. Furthermore, the government-led unbalanced growth model—which served Korea well in the past—has become less effective and politically palatable in recent years. As such, Korea needs a major paradigm shift to embark on a new sustainable and inclusive growth path. But policy response has been modest at best with no major reforms being implemented over the past two decades. We propose a paradigm shift in Korea’s economic framework, involving a simultaneous big push for greater economic freedom and stronger social protection within the parameters set by long-run fiscal sustainability. We also provide a detailed account of structural reforms to boost economic freedom and sustainable funding plans for stronger social protection.