Performance of the Service Sector in the Republic of Korea

Publication | December 2012

There is a widespread perception that the Republic of Korea's service sector lags behind its dynamic world-class manufacturing sector. We empirically analyze the past performance of the Republic of Korea's service sector in order to assess its prospects as an engine of growth. Our analysis resoundingly confirms the conventional wisdom of an underperforming service sector. In light of the Republic of Korea's high income and development level, the poor performance of modern services is of particular concern. We identify a number of factors underlying the poor performance, and set forth policy recommendations for addressing them. Overall, the Republic of Korea faces a challenging but navigable road ahead in developing a high value-added service sector.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • The Performance of the Republic of Korea's Service Sector: An Empirical Assessment
  • Why Does the Republic Of Korea's Service Sector Perform So Badly? Some Possible Explanations
  • Policy Implications
  • Concluding Observations
  • References