Title: Resilience as a Policy Goal and a Policy Measure: South Korea’s New Deal Policy in the Post-COVID-19 Era
Stream: Public Economics
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Jeehyun Park, Sophia University, Japan
Resilience draws attention as a way to combat the unprecedented uncertainty today. Especially in this post-COVID-19 era, a sense of insecurity penetrates nearly every aspect of our lives, from political to economic, social, and cultural dimensions. At times, those dimensions meet and overlap each other, affecting and being affected. Resilience thus can be both a policy goal and a policy measure to the goal. South Korea, in July 2020, announced a new policy package, the Korean New Deal, while grappling with the COVID-19 crisis. The three main components are the digital economy, green technology, and the social safety net. This is a shift to a new path for resilience building in industrial, environmental, and social sectors. Of these, the most vulnerable one is the social sector, thus weaving the social safety net tighter has become one of the top policy priorities. The government has taken aggressive measures in tackling this, distributing four cash and card subsidies in 2020, followed by two more subsidies in the first half-year of 2021. South Korea's policy response to the pandemic crisis was mainly a two-track approach: offering unconditional cash transfers and openly examining universal basic income (UBI). Such a policy measure and public policy discourse indicate the interconnected resilience mechanism in which increasing economic resilience may lead to social resilience. This paper will further explore the link between economic and social resilience through the case of South Korea's post-COVID-19 policymaking along with the impact of subsidies on the social safety net.
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