1. Demand and Supply Side Factors of Trade Balance Fluctuations in Korea : A Structural VAR Approach with Long-Run Restrictions
This study attempts to explain why traditionally pro-cyclical trade balance became counter-cyclical since early 1990's in Korea. Structural VAR analysis for two sub-periods reveals two interesting changes in the role of the supply shock. First, impulse response analysis shows that the conditional correlation between the supply shock and trade balance turned from positive to negative over the two sub-periods. Second, the relative importance of the supply shock increased over the sub-periods. These two factors together explain the change in the cyclical properties of trade balance over time. Underlying cause behind these changes is likely to be the trade and financial market liberalization since late 1980's.
2. Labor Market Effects of Employment Protection Deregulation
Enhancing labor market flexibility is currently posted as one of the major economic policy objectives in Korea. However, the labor market effects of specific policies to achieve it have not been sufficiently investigated. This paper takes up the issue of employment protection deregulation and surveys and empirically analyzes its policy effects. Academic researches generally confirm that deregulation tends to promote labor turnover and employment of the disadvantaged groups such as the youth and female by raising the overall efficiency of the economy, but its effects on unemployment is not clear. In the Korean labor market, both job creation and destruction, and labor mobility have increased after the economic crisis of 1998, but they can not be seen as deregulation effects as the changes are confined to the temporary and daily employment whose labor markets are least regulated whereas the regular employment market remains virtally unchanged. Such results suggest that labor market deregulation need to be pursued consistently as a policy goal since the labor demand condition shift and the need for expanding regular employment necessitates it, for which detailed policy agenda for removing market inefficiencies should be carefully arranged.
3. Changes in Pollution Intensity and Internationl Competitiveness : 1993~1998
The purpose of this paper is to perform empirical studies on the impact of pollution intensity on international competitiveness using 1993 and 1998 data, and to estimate the change in environmental regulation level faced by the firms during 1993～1998. Collecting relevant data and providing them for further studies in the area are another purposes of the paper.
The first method is the regression of various indices of international competitiveness on factor costs, such as labor, capital, R&D and pollution abatement costs. Goal of the regression analysis is to estimate the scarcity and comparative advantage effect of each production factor, especially environmental resource. Regression results show that those industries which employ more environmental resource have higher comparative advantage in both years, which implies that Korean firms are endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries.
The second method is to compute the relative scarcity indices(HOVL indices) of production factors, proposed by Leamer based on Vanek's generalized Hecksher-Ohlin Theorem. This method estimates the relative scarcity of production factors by computing factor costs embodied in import and export of commodities. This method shows similar results as the regression method; i.e., trade pattern of production factors implies that the manufacturing sector in Korea is endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries.
Considering population density, water resource endowment, intensity of economic activity per unit area and current air and water pollution levels, it is evident that Korea is never endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries. Then the abundance of environmental resource revealed by the trade patterns of commodities and production factors implies that Korea's environmental regulation level is excessively generous compared to environmental capacity, and that this increased the environmental resource endowment supplied to firms and thus distorted the inter-industry comparative advantages.
Both regression and HOVL methods, on the other hand, show that overall environmental regulation level faced by the firms has been strengthened during 1993～1998.
4. Pllicy Direction of Capital Income Taxation in Korea : Searching for New Paradigm by Reviewing the US Fundamental Tax Reform
This paper is to examine some issues and policy direction of capital income taxation in Korea. Fundamental tax reform in US was reviewed to get some lessons for reforming the capital income taxation. One of main characteristics in Korea's capital income taxation is different treatment by corporation type, investment goods, and financial structures. Especially, the tax differential for debt and equity financing has been serious, as debt has been deducted as cost.
We discuss that tax policy should try to satisfy the efficiency, equity, and simplicity under the structure of income based taxation for the time being. However, the changes of tax policies in advanced economies should be carefully examined, as Korea has the structure of small open economy. The current issue on the abolition of corporation income tax might be premature in logical structure and implementation. The US fundamental tax reform might be useful reference for determining the direction of capital income taxation in Korea, as it gives us some chances to discuss about tax base issue with income and consumption. Consumption based taxation is superior to income based taxation in the perspective of administrative and compliance costs. We should consider these tax costs for reforming capital income tax system in Korea.