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KDI Journal of Economic Policy

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KDI Journal of Economic Policy, May 2017
Language English
SUMMARY Korea’s Rapid Export Expansion in the 1960s: How It Began / Jungho Yoo

Korea’s rapid export expansion suddenly began in the early 1960s and boosted the economy. This paper’s investigation finds that it began in 1961, as new export items appeared, export of which increased incomparably faster than that of the current export items at the time. How and why of this highly unusual phenomenon can best be explained by a major reform of foreign exchange system in February 1961. This goes against the widely held view that the switch in development policy from import substitution to export promotion in the mid-1960s was the reason for Korea’s export success. Rather, the evidence indicates that the rapid export expansion led to the policy switch. The government’s export promotion since the policy switch helped the rapid export expansion continue into the 1970s, despite the protectionist import policy.

Korea’s Demographic Transition and Long-Term Growth Projection Based on an Overlapping Generations Model

This paper employs an Overlapping Generations Model to quantify the impacts of Korea’s demographic transition toward an older population on the total output growth rate. The model incorporates the projected population through 2060 according by Statistics Korea. The effects of the low fertility and increased life expectancy rates are studied. The model is considered suitable for analyzing the effects of demographic changes on the Korean economy. Under the assumption that the TFP growth rate will not slow considerably in the future, remaining at 1.3% per annum, the gross output growth rate of the Korean economy is projected to slow to 1.1% per annum in the 2050s, from 4.0% in the 2000s. The shrinking workforce due to the decline in fertility plays a significant role in the deceleration of the Korean economy. The increased life expectancy rate is expected to mitigate the negative effect, but the magnitude of its effect is found to be limited.

How to Promote E-Commerce Exports to China: An Empirical Analysis

This paper focuses on the recent extraordinary growth of Chinese cross-border online shopping and draws implications for firm strategies and government policies in Korea to utilize the phenomenon as an opportunity to expand into a broader market via e-commerce exports. I conduct a survey of Chinese cross-border online consumers to identify constraining and determining factors during the stages of their purchase decisions of Korean products. Given the fact that Chinese cross-border online shopping is at the incipient stage and consumers have expressed a strong intent to repurchase, future strategies should focus on attracting new consumers. Accordingly, Korean firms should build a powerful brand image, improve product quality and post-purchase services, and take full advantage of the popularity of the Korean Wave. Meanwhile, the government must step up policy efforts by, for instance, improving e-commerce export statistics, simplifying logistics and clearance procedures, and building trust in Chinese consumers.

Revisiting Social Discount Rates for Public Investment

This paper aims to estimate the social discount rate (SDR) rather than dig into its theoretical foundation. As SDRs can be derived by investigating both the rate of return on investment and the social time preference rate, we estimate the marginal productivity of both private and public capital and the time preference rate based on the Euler equation. In order to provide a single representative SDR, the weighted averages of the marginal productivity and time preference rate, whose weights are determined by the flow of funds data reflecting the social demand of funds, are presented. Based on the empirical results, we argue that the marginal productivity of private capital stands in the middle of the 3% range while that of public capital varies from 4.5% to 8.6%, with the time preference rate showing a decreasing trend from 3.2% in the early 2000s to 1.2% by around 2030. The single representative SDR or the weighted SDR is estimated to be approximately 3.0~4.5% and expected to continue its downward trend for the foreseeable future.
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