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SNU Department of Economics to Launch New Center for Economic Innovation

May 01, 2018

The elevation drawing of the Economics Building. The left one is the future Center for Economic Innovation
The elevation drawing of the Economics Building. The left one is the future Center for Economic Innovation

SNU announced on April 18th that the Department of Economics is to launch a Korean counterpart of the National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER). The leading non-profit, non-partisan economic research organization in the United States, NBER is committed to conducting and sharing relevant research findings with both policy makers and the academic community.

The field of Korean economics has faced criticism for its lack of both theoretical and empirical research that deals with pressing problems of the Korean economy, such as low-growth and income inequality. Ryu Keunkwan, chair of the Department of Economics, explained: “the current situation calls for innovative economic policies and institutions, and it is SNU’s responsibility to provide this.”

Part of the reason for the dearth of extensive research on Korean economics is the tendency to focus too much on the US economy, which is commonly regarded as the origin of modern economic theories. According to Lee Philsang, professor of the SNU Department of Economics, “Although both Korea and U.S are both based on a market economy, the economic environments of the two countries are quite different in many aspects. The way economic research and education have been carried out in Korea differs from the actual Korean economic reality.”

Korean National Bureau of Economics Research (KoBER) aims to provide ample theoretical background customized to the problems that the Korean economy is currently facing. Furthermore, the new center is also expected to serve as a hub of collaboration where the government, private sector, and academia come together to share knowledge, moving toward Korea-centered economic theory and practice.


Written by Chae Hyun Kim, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,