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Long-term Shifts in Korean Manufacturing and Plant-level Dynamics

March 21, 2019

DECRG Kuala Lumpur Seminar Series

  • The Korean manufacturing sector has undergone active structural transformation in the past few decades. Analyzing plant-level microdata, we document the patterns of entry, exit, job creation and destruction, and the growth of young plants during the industrial shift. This industrial shift involved active job reallocations, as well as the entry and exit of plants. We quantify the extent to which such plant-level dynamics explain productivity growth. We find that productivity gains through between-plant reallocations are correlated with the decrease in the measured productivity dispersion (i.e., misallocation). However, the contribution of reallocations to the aggregate productivity growth is relatively small. Within-plant productivity growth played an important role in the productivity growth of the Korean manufacturing sector.

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  • Yoonsoo Lee is an Associate Professor of Economics at Sogang University in Korea.  Prior to joining Sogang University, Professor Lee was a Research Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  He was also a Research Associate of the Carnegie Mellon University Census Research Data Center and the Michigan RDC of the U.S. Census Bureau.  He served as a consultant to the World Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Professor Lee obtained his Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Economics from University of Rochester and his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Seoul Nation University. Professor Lee’s main research areas are macroeconomics, with particular interests in firm dynamics, job creation, and productivity growth. His research focuses on the implication of dynamic behaviors of heterogeneous firms for the aggregate economy.  He published a number of articles in international journals.  He received Chungram Award from the Korean Economic Association this year.


  • WHEN: Thursday, March 21, 2019; 9:30 -11:00AM
  • WHERE: World Bank Malaysia Office, Level 3, Sasana Kijang, No. 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn
  • RSVP: Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, March 20, 2019