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KDI Journal of Economic Policy

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KDI Journal of Economic Policy, February 2018
Language English
SUMMARY Impact of Demographic Changes on Inflation and the Macroeconomy / Jong-won Yoon, Jinill Kim, and Jungjin Lee

Ongoing demographic changes have brought about a substantial shift in the size and age composition of the population, which are having a significant impact on the global economy. Despite potentially grave consequences, demographic changes usually do not take center stage in many macroeconomic policy discussions or debates. This paper illustrates how demographic variables move over time and analyzes how they influence macroeconomic variables such as economic growth, inflation, savings and investment, and fiscal balances, from an empirical perspective. Based on empirical findings—particularly regarding inflation—we discuss their implications on macroeconomic policies, including monetary policy. We also highlight the need to consider the interactions between population dynamics and macroeconomic variables in macroeconomic policy decisions.

Can Religion Save Our Health?: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the U.S. / Yoon Soo Park

There is a large amount of empirical literature reporting that people who regularly attend religious services tend to have better health outcomes. However, it remains an unanswered question as to whether the observed correlation reflects any causality. Exploiting exogenous changes in church attendance driven by law changes in 21 states of the U.S., I find tentative but suggestive evidence that the observed strong correlation between religious participation and health is likely to be driven by endogenous selection.

What Drives the Stock Market Comovements between Korea and China, Japan and the U.S.? / Jinsoo Lee and Bok-Keun Yu

This paper measures the extent of comovements in stock returns between Korea and three major countries (China, Japan and the U.S.) using industry-level data for Korea from 2003 to 2016 in the spirit of the international capital asset pricing model. It also examines what drives the comovements between Korea and the three countries. We find that the comovements of Korean stock returns with those of the U.S. and Japan became smaller after the global financial crisis. In contrast, the comovement in stock returns between Korea and China became larger after the crisis. After an additional analysis, we conclude that trade linkage is the main driver of the comovements between Korea and the three countries.

Measuring Nuclear Power Plant Negative Externalities through the Life Satisfaction Approach: The Case of Ulsan City / Kye Woo Lee and Se Jong Yoo

We have hypothesized that nuclear risk is significantly inversely related to the distance from residences to nuclear power plants and that the level of life satisfaction of residents therefore increases with the distance. We empirically explore the relationship between Ulsan citizens’ life satisfaction levels and the distance between their residences and the Kori and Wolsong nuclear power plants (NPP) based on the life satisfaction approach (LSA). The dataset we used covers only Ulsan citizens from the biennial Ulsan Statistics on Citizen’s Living Condition and Consciousness of 2014 and 2016. Controlling for micro-variables such as education, work satisfaction, gender, marital status, and expenditures, we found a statistically significant relationship between life satisfaction and the distance between the residences and the nuclear power plants. Nuclear negative externalities including (i) health and environmental impact, (ii) radioactive waste disposal, and (iii) the effect of severe accidents can be quantified in terms of LS units and monetary units. We were able to calculate the monetary value of NPP externalities at $277 per kilometer of distance for Kori and $280 per kilometer of distance for Wolsong at constant 2015 prices. These estimates are quite different from the traditional estimates made with the contingent valuation method, whereas they are similar to the findings of LSA studies abroad. Hence, the need to adopt the LSA in South Korea and policy implications are demonstrated.
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