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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 32, No. 1, March 2010, pp. 27-49

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Economic Crisis and Intergenerational Economy: Lessons from Korea's 1997~98 Economic Crisis

Chong-Bum An; Sang-Hyop Lee; Nam hui Hwang

Author & Article History

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This paper provides insight into some important features of the intergenerational resource allocation in Korea, before and after the financial crisis in 1997-98. Data sets of three periods before and after the financial crisis (1996, 2000, and 2005) were used to compare the results. This research particularly addresses two related issues: i) the generational effects of economic crisis, and ii) the capacity of age reallocation systems to spread economic risks across generations. The results show tremendous consumption smoothing and resource reallocation by age, during and after the financial crisis. Private education and private health consumption decreased for children between 1996 and 2000. However, the decrease in private education and private health consumption was mitigated by the increase in public consumption. It appears that the public sector did not only mitigate the adverse impact of the economic crisis on consumption, but it also reduced the widening disparity amongst generations. Within transfers, the public transfers for the elderly increased substantially as the private transfers decreased rapidly. Finally, there was a big increase in the asset-based reallocation of the elderly. The increase in asset-based reallocation was mainly due to an increase in asset income between 1996 and 2000, but it was almost entirely due to a decrease in saving (i.e. an increase in dis-saving) between 2000 and 2005. This suggests that Korean elderly seemed to have some degree of supporting system during the crisis, even without sufficient pension benefits. The increased reliance on asset accumulation will be critical in the long-run in Korea, as public pension funds diminish due to population aging.


Intergenerational Economy(세대 간 경제), Transfers(이전), Economic Crisis(경제위기), Population Aging(고령화)

JEL Code

J18, H53, I35

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