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Release of medium-to-long term outlook on respective agenda based
on the analysis of pending macroeconomic issues

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Journal of Economic Policy

KDI Journal of Economic Policy, February 2016

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  • Author Korea Development Institute
  • Date 2016/02/29
  • Series No. KDI Journal of Economic Policy Vol.38, No.1
  • Language English
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SUMMARY Effects of a Universal Childcare Subsidy on Mothers’ Time Allocation / Young Wook Lee

This paper examines the effects of a universal childcare subsidy on childcare decisions and mothers’ employment by using Korea’s policy reform of 2012, which provided a full childcare subsidy to all children aged 0 to 2. I find that the introduction of a universal childcare subsidy increased the use of childcare centers by children aged 0-2, which led to less maternal care compared to that provided to children aged 3-4. However, the expanded subsidy had little effect on mothers’ labor supply. Moreover, the policy effects vary by individual and household characteristics. The effects of the expanded subsidy are mainly found in low-income households and less educated mothers. Highly educated mothers and high-income households are likely to focus more on the quality of childcare service. These results imply that a simple reduction in childcare costs would bring only limited effects on mothers’ time allocation behavior; thus, more attention should be paid to improving the quality of childcare services.

Effect of the Introduction of High-speed Trains on Consumer Welfare / Jisun Baek

This paper examines the impact of introducing high-speed trains on consumer welfare, taking the ensuing changes in train schedules into account. Based on the estimated demand model for travel which incorporates consumer’s heterogeneous preferences for travel schedules into the standard discrete-choice model, I separately evaluate the impact from adding high-speed trains and that from changes in train schedules. The results indicate that consumers who travel between two cities connected by high-speed trains benefit from the introduction of high-speed trains, while some travelers whose choice set does not include high-speed trains face a reduced frequency of non-high-speed trains, resulting in significant losses.

How Competitive and Stable is the Commercial Banking Industry in China after Bank Reforms? / Kang H. Park

This paper examines market concentration and its effect on competition in the Chinese commercial banking market. This study also investigates how changes in competition have affected the financial stability of Chinese commercial banks. To test the competitive conditions, we obtained the H statistic of the Panzar-Rosse model from a revenue function equation. The degree of financial stability is estimated by the Z-score formula. The Chinese banking industry has become an increasingly less concentrated market with an increased number of banks. Along with a decreased market concentration, competition in the Chinese banking industry has improved moderately. However, its market structure is still far from a competitive market. An individual bank’s ability to earn higher markup or charge a higher net interest margin contributes to its financial soundness, although a higher degree of market concentration may have negative effect on the financial stability of the entire banking system.

Student Academic Performance, Dropout Decisions and Loan Defaults: Evidence from the Government College Loan Program / Sung Min Han

This paper examines the effect of the government college loan program in Korea on student academic performance, dropout decisions and loan defaults. While fairness in educational opportunities has been guaranteed to some degree through this program, which started in 2009, there has been a great deal of controversy over its effectiveness. Empirical findings suggest that recipients of general student loan (GSL) lower academic performance than those who received income contingent loan (ICL). Moreover, for students attending private universities, a higher number of loans received increased the probability of a dropout decision, and students from middle-income households had a higher probability of being overdue than students from low-income households. These findings indicate that expanding the ICL program within the allowance of the government budget is necessary. Furthermore, providing opportunities for students to find various jobs and introducing a rating system for defaulters are two necessary tasks.

Admissions Quotas in Metropolitan Areas and Competition between Universities in Korea / Jaehoon Kim

The excessive demand for universities in metropolitan areas as a result of location premiums and regulated admissions quotas diminishes the competition between universities and the incentive to enhance educational performance to attract more students. Cases in point are the lower graduate employment rates (a measure of educational performance) of universities in metropolitan areas compared to those in non-metropolitan areas despite higher quality students. Additionally, the graduate employment rates of non-metropolitan universities are influenced by educational input factors such as an increase in the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty, while those of metropolitan universities are contingent merely on enrollees’ entrance scores. Ergo, a structure that revitalizes the competition between universities and encourages them to improve their educational services must be established in order to enhance the quality of higher education.
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