Authour: Byoung Hoon Seok(Ewha Womans Univ.), Nam Gang Lee(Bank of Korea)
Using an unobserved components model that features trend growth as a random walk, we find that GDP trend growth rates had gradually declined from the late 1980s to early 2010s in Korea. To uncover the underlying features of the slowdown, we use trend growth accounting. A major feature appears to be a significant decline in the growth rate of labor productivity. To be specific, the first gradual decline in trend growth, which started in 1988 and continued to 1998, is associated with a drop in TFP measured in labor-augmenting units. This finding is inconsistent with the hypothesis that the slowdown in GDP trend growth can be attributed to the 1997-1998 Korean financial crisis. Sluggish investment growth is behind the second period of the gradual slowdown, from 2002 to 2012.