SUMMARYCEO to the Rescue: Residential Proximity of Private Firm CEOs and the Evolution of Corporate Profitability / Woojin Kim and Dong-Ryung Yang
This paper documents how the net profit margin of private firms improves when the CEOs of the companies relocate their primary residence to be closer to the corporate headquarters. By reviewing 127 Korean non-public companies belonging to 66 private business groups, we find that the top managers move closer to the headquarters when the profitability of the firms has recently deteriorated. A one basis point decline in the margin causes CEOs to relocate their homes approximately two kilometers closer to their corporate headquarters. The profit margin rebounds after their relocation. This finding implies that physical proximity can serve as a proxy for personal commitment.
Household Debt and Consumer Spending in Korea: Evidence from Household Data / Young Il Kim and Min Hwang
Household debt in Korea raises concerns about the resilience of the economy due to its size and quality. Against this backdrop, we investigate if household leverage matters for private consumption in adverse economic environments even without severe financial disruptions. We find that the balance sheet positions in terms of the leverage ratio may weaken consumption growth. We also find that the depressive effect of debt on consumption may differ across types of consumer spending and household characteristics. In particular, the effects of indebtedness have been much stronger in relation to durable goods expenditures than in other areas. In addition, debtors in highincome (wealth) groups have also shown downward adjustments in consumption even more so than low-income (wealth) groups. These findings imply that debtors’ precautionary behavior may serve as an important channel from leverage to consumer spending.
Korea’s Participation in Global Value Chains: Measures and Implications / Sunghoon Chung
This paper measures the extent to which South Korea participated in global value chains (GVCs) from 1995 through 2011 and scrutinizes the consequences of such participation on the Korean economy. To this end, the World Input Output Database is utilized to calculate GVC income, GVC employment, and value-added exports created by Korean and foreign industries. Our findings show that Korea radically internationalized its production activities during the sample period, widening the gap between gross exports and value-added exports. We also document that Korea’s participation in GVCs has changed the value-added and employment structures in domestic industries in accordance with their comparative advantages while exacerbating the degree of wage inequality.
How Large are Local Human Capital Spillovers?: Evidence from Korea / WooRam Park
This paper examines the empirical magnitude of local human capital spillovers in Korea during the 1980s and mid-1990s. Local human capital spillovers exists if plants in regions with a higher level of human capital can produce more given their own amount of input (Moretti 2004c). In particular, this paper explores an educational reform in South Korea which exogenously induced a large amount of variation in regional human capital levels. Using annually collected plant level data, I explore the effect of changes in the regional human capital levels induced by this reform on plant productivity in Korea. My results suggest that this effect is limited. I find a positive correlation between a regional level of human capital and plant productivity. However, after further addressing endogeneity using an instrumental variable, the effect of the overall regional human capital level on productivity decreases and becomes statistically insignificant.
Conflict in the Shadow of Conflict / Se Hoon Bang and Jaesoo Kim
We study how an advantage given to an interim winner in sequential conflicts characterizes dynamic competition between players and influences their payoffs. As the intensity of competition during each period is negatively correlated, perfect security is not necessarily desirable for contending parties. We present results which are widely applicable to various types of dynamic competition, where competition in each period is linked to the interim winner’s relative advantage. Policy implications are also discussed in a variety of areas, and several extensions are explored.
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