Abstract

This paper explores the growing trend in income inequality in Korea and Taiwan. The two recent East Asian democracies have witnessed rising inequality since the 1990s but with cross-national differences. We find that market inequality is higher in Taiwan than in Korea, yet the Taiwan government’s efforts to reduce this disparity are stronger than similar moves in Korea. By applying the logic of economic, social, and political effects, we find both similar trends and divergent paths in the politics of inequality in the two countries.

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