Korea is confronting a serious challenges. It has to improve income equality in the context of a severe demographic transition. Such a transition, from one of the youngest populations in the OECD at present to the second oldest by 2050, may boost the need for public spending and slow economic growth. In this context and as the pace of population ageing is accelerating, it is important to act quickly in a wide range of areas:
Policies to sustain Korea’s growth potential in the face of falling labour inputs;
Measures that improve both growth and equality;
Carefully-targeted increases in social spending to reduce inequality and poverty;
Financing higher social spending, with priority given to a reform of tax and social security that minimises the negative impact on output growth.
Against the background of these broad challenges, which are discussed in a specific, setting-the-ground, Chapter, the report suggests policy options, based on the practices and reforms of other countries, in the following four areas: I) Income Distribution and Poverty; II) Tackling the Duality of the Labour Market; III) Early Childcare; and IV) Moving beyond Hospitals to better Care in the Community.
Table of contents
Executive summary A policy toolkit for growth and social cohesion in Korea Chapter 1. Overview: Why is social cohesion an urgent issue in Korea? Chapter 2. Income distribution and poverty among the working-age population and implications for social welfare policies Chapter 3. Policies to tackle labour market duality in Korea Chapter 4. Combined early childhood education and care measures to ensure social cohesion Chapter 5. Moving from hospitals to primary care for chronic diseases