Korea Fares Poorly in Managing Social Conflict

      March 25, 2015 13:11

      Korea is one of the most scrappy societies in the OECD but the government's ability to handle social conflicts ranks among the lowest.

      In a recent report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Korea came fifth with 1.043 in the social conflict index as of 2011, after Turkey with 2.940, Greece with 1.712, Chile with 1.212, and Italy with 1.119.

      But the ability of the Korean government to manage social conflicts ranked just 27th out of 34 countries. The index indicates how effective a country's administrative and legal systems are in resolving political and social conflicts and reduce income inequality.

      Only seven countries did worse than Korea. Mexico was at the bottom with 0.068, followed by Turkey with 0.151, Greece with 0.206, Hungary with 0.247, Italy with 0.281, Poland with 0.340, and Slovakia with 0.351.

      Scandinavian countries were the most harmonious with Denmark topping the list with 0.923, followed by Sweden and Finland with 0.866 and 0.859. The Netherlands came fourth with 0.846, followed by the U.K. with 0.677 and France with 0.616.

      Both Japan and the U.S. scored higher than Korea with 0.569 and 0.546.

      KIHASA estimates that a 10-percent reduction in a country's social conflict index boosts per-capita GDP by 1.79 percent, and a 10-percent improvement on the social conflict management index is correlated with a 2.41-percent increase in GDP.

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