It is a great honour to be with you today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Korea’s accession to our Organisation. The invitation to Korea to join the OECD represented the culmination of 35 years of extraordinary growth that transformed it from one of the poorest nations in the world to a major industrial power with one of the highest levels of R&D expenditure relative to GDP in the OECD.
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This note presents selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators published in How's Life? 2016.
Korea needs to boost productivity, increase employment and stoke economic activity as part of efforts to reverse current trends toward slower growth and low inflation, according to a new report from the OECD.
Korea is experiencing a spell of slower growth and low inflation. Productivity is low due to large gaps between manufacturing and services, and large companies and SMEs. Problems in the labour market raise inequality and poverty, and discourage employment.
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In the past 30 years Korea has gone from having a limited medical infrastructure, fragmented financing and limited population coverage, to a health care system characterised by universal coverage, one of the highest life expectancies in the world while still having one of the lowest levels of health expenditure among OECD countries.
Transport infrastructure opens new routes and creates connections. It increases prosperity by generating economic opportunities, reducing transport costs and supporting agglomeration economies. However, the increased traffic flows also generate environmental and social costs. In Korea, the amount of paved roads increased dramatically between 1951 and 2014, from 580 kilometres to over 87 000 kilometres. This expansion of Korea’s expressway, highway and major road network has created benefits for cities and rural areas across the country, contributing to both economic growth and inclusiveness. This rapid development of road infrastructure and motorisation has also resulted in relatively high traffic fatality rates. This report combines empirical research on the relationship between road infrastructure, inclusive economic development and traffic safety with an assessment of policies and governance structures to help governments find ways to create effective, safe and inclusive transport infrastructures.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Korea has the 5th lowest tax wedge among the 34 OECD member countries in 2015. The country occupied the same position in 2014. The average single worker in Korea faced a tax wedge of 21.9% in 2015 compared with the OECD average of 35.9%.
The 2015 edition of National Accounts of OECD Countries, General Government Accounts is an annual publication, dedicated to government finance which is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) for all countries except Chile, Japan, Korea and Turkey (SNA 1993). It includes tables showing government aggregates and balances for the production, income and financial accounts as well as detailed tax and social contribution receipts and a breakdown of expenditure of general government by function, according to the harmonised international classification, COFOG. These detailed accounts are available for the general government sector. Data also cover the following sub-sectors, according to availability: central government, state government, local government and social security funds.
The data in this publication are also available on line via www.oecd-ilibrary.org under the title OECD National Accounts Statistics, General Government Accounts (http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga-data-en and http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga08-data-en).
This case study presents the system of funding for political parties and elections in Korea. It also discusses the role of the National Election Commission in overseeing, monitoring and enforcing election regulations.