Economics and the Next South Korean Administration

Korea Chair Platform

President Park Geun-hye won election in part because of support from older South Koreans who fondly recall her father’s accomplishments as modernizer of the country’s economy. But for her to be successful handling it, Ms. Park must end some of the ideas and institutions he started.

South Korea’s economic dilemma since the 1980s has been portrayed in the country as a conflict between growth and fairness. That’s partly because democracy activists, in their campaign to end the authoritarian style of government that Park Chung-hee created in the 1960s and 1970s, could not argue about the overall results of his economic accomplishments. Instead, they pointed out that it didn’t benefit everyone equally.

Evan Ramstad