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Confronting South Korea's Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

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Confronting South Korea's Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

Thursday, November 2, 2023
12pm to 1:15pm PT

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Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
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Free but Registration requested

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Event Details:

South Korea transformed its economy within three decades to emerge as an industrial powerhouse. Its influence has expanded into culture, with K-pop a global phenomenon. However, long before the pandemic and the current stagflation concern worldwide, the country's economy was sputtering and socioeconomic fractures were widening. Today Korea is facing challenges on multiple fronts that are radically different from those seen in the past. If the country pushes forward with bold structural reforms, it could regain its erstwhile momentum. The alternative, more likely by the day, is something more akin to “Eurosclerosis,” or worse, Japanification. This talk addresses key current issues and foreseeable challenges of the economy in hopes of finding constructive ways forward.

About the Speaker:

Jaejoon Woo is an Associate Professor of Economics (with tenure) at DePaul University, Chicago and the author of Confronting South Korea's Next Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Previously, Professor Woo served as Chief Korea Economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2015-2017), Senior Economist at the IMF, Washington DC (2009-2014), and Economist at the OECD, Paris (2000-2002, 2009). His research areas are growth and productivity, public debt and fiscal policy, political economy, inequality, Korea and EM Asia. He has published 4 books and 37 articles (in addition to 145 market-oriented research notes published at BAML). His papers have been published in major economics journals such as Review of Economics and Statistics, European Economic Review, Economica, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Economic Inquiry, and IMF Economic Review. Some were featured in The Economist (London-based weekly magazine) and Financial Times. He also taught at Harvard, Helsinki School of Economics (Finland), and Sciences Po (France). He received his B.A. in Economics from Yonsei University in Seoul, and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.

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