Causes of Inequality in South Korea from a Capitalism Variety Approach

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José Alejandro Pérez-Nájera


Network economy, Business groups, Gender gap, Social spending, JEL codes: D31, D63, O53, P36


This article identifies the causes that have maintained a high level of inequality in South Korea, through the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) approach, which classifies the country as a network economy. The study further elaborates on the discussion of the determinants of inequality in countries with a high Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDPp) and the operation of three negative complementarities that maintain these imbalances: gender, social spending, and poverty. To this end, data generated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are methodologically and descriptively addressed. In conclusion, inequalities concerning gender, social spending, and poverty constitute a complex negative complementarity that permeates the income distribution of the Asian country.


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