Five generations. That how long it takes for the child of a poor family to reach the average level of income in South Korea according to a recent report by OECD.
As income mobility has stagnated following the country's rapid economic growth, the current government has been seeking to solve the 'broken social elevator' through income-led growth and sustainable development.
"Income-led growth focuses on a balance between the big conglomerates and small enterprises, international and domestic corporations. With more than 45 policies, more jobs have been created among the economic slowdown and the wealth gap has been alleviated. However, further complementary measures are needed."
Experts from global institutions such as the UN, International Labor Organization, and OECD gathered in Seoul on Tuesday to evaluate Korea's income-led policies and share possible measures for inclusive growth.
They said that sustainable and inclusive growth is not only a challenge in Korea but is an issue for the rest of the world.
"To think how we can balance the traditional pursuit of efficiency with more inclusiveness but doing sobut not at the end of the game when we have to correct for the failures. But to think about pre-market distributions, think about how to invest in people up front."
With the growing gap between wages and profits being the major issue, experts say institutional change is required through strengthening the ability of labor to bargain over their wages so the growth starts from the bottom.
"There needs to be a stronger focus on domestic demand and domestic markets and ultimately that depends on working people receiving adequate income remuneration to ensure that they can strengthen domestic markets and boost domestic demand."
"Global institutions saw today’s international conference on income-led growth as a meaningful attempt to respond to growing inequality and supported South Korea’s efforts to find fundamental solutions to unequal wealth distribution. Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News."