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%.
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.
Learn about ongoing regulatory policy developments in Korea and the 2015 indicators on regulatory policy and governance.
This report on the Public Procurement Service of Korea examines the effectiveness of its system, identifying good practices that can inspire reform efforts in other countries. In particular, the report highlights the efficiency gains achieved by implementation of a comprehensive e-procurement system and the savings generated by an integrated support for government-wide contracts. It also looks at how Korea is adopting a strategic and multi-dimensional approach to using public procurement in the support of small businesses and other social objectives. In identifying possible improvements to Korea’s system, recommendations include a more centralised look at workforce training and development issues and additional features for Korea’s e-procurement system, as well as a review of existing certification and preference programs.
The 2015 edition introduces more detailed analysis of participation in early childhood and tertiary levels of education. The report also examines first generation tertiary-educated adults’ educational and social mobility, labour market outcomes for recent graduates, and participation in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education.
While Korea has seen strong economic growth and an impressive rise of skill levels over the past decades, further action is needed to improve the labour market relevance of education, remove barriers to employment and raise productivity levels in Korea, according to a new OECD report.