Congressional think tank designing
national future strategies

Future Research

[National Future Strategic Insight] “Future Vision 2037: Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society” (No. 36)
This report points out that Korea has displayed unprecedented rapid economic growth, but on the other hand, individuals and societies suffer from inequality, polarization, antagonism and confrontation, thereby envisioning “Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society”, emphasizing the need for transition to a society where individuals and communities are not sacrificed for the national development goal but design the future together as equal subjects, and value quality rather than quantitative expansion. The researchers present “autonomy and decentralization”, “diversity”, “priority to the socially vulnerable” as values we have to direct towards, with 12 specific mid- to long-term agendas under four goals “individual capacity and quality of life”, “harmonized community”, “paradigm shift and sustainable growth” and “mediation and cooperation against domestic/international conflicts”. The report is intended to focus on mid- to long-term agendas that three governments should continue to push forward, considering that a new government will be launched in 2022. By analyzing the issues of consensus, potential conflict, and fierce confrontation by each agenda from various perspectives, the report presents a topic for expanding social conversation in the future. This report has been prepared to display the key points of “Future Vision 2037: Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society” of the National Mid-to-Long-Term Agenda Committee (“Committee”), which is an advisory body under the Speaker of the National Assembly established at the end of November 2020 to discover national tasks and future issues required to be continuously discussed beyond the five-year term of the administration. Future Vision 2037 Report is the outcome of Committee-supported research conducted over the past year by forming a joint research team led by NAFI, other government-funded research institutes under the jurisdiction of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (NRC) and the National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST), and 60 experts from major universities. “As this report contains national agendas requiring continuous discussion beyond the five-year term of the administration, we plan to use various tools to promote the research results so that the politicians and the public can continue to take interest,” explains Research Fellow Kim Yu-bean of NAFI.

2022.01.10

Future Research

[National Future Strategic Insight] Policies to Support Industries Affected by Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and Policy Effect Analysis (No. 35)
Performing a survey for 25 experts by Jeong Hoon (Research Fellow) and Yeo Yeong-jun (Associate Research Fellow), respondents answered that “pro forma opinion gathering” and “hasty and exclusive legislative process” are the biggest obstacles of domestic climate policy and legislation. They confirmed that by enhancing policies and legislation, the regulatory restructuring, promotion of domestic industry conversion and export industry support should be integrated. Further, the CBAM-oriented supports should encompass support, protection, promotion and conversion as strategic directions, including tax benefits, funding support, R&D support, distribution/commercialization, infrastructure, customized support for each industry, reasonable transaction framework, innovative system, policy governance, education and publicity. The priority of the proposed industrial support policy tasks was analyzed based on urgency and effectiveness with analytic hierarchy process (AHP), which was given to R&D support, tax benefits, funding support, customized support for each industry, innovative system, distribution/commercialization, infrastructure, policy governance, reasonable transaction framework, and education and publicity in this order. Additionally, the researchers proved the importance and effectiveness of the industrial support policy by analyzing the socioeconomic ripple effect using the computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for “R&D support” with the highest priority, and also confirmed that major macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, social utility, and investment, which had fallen due to the CBAM, recovered somewhat with R&D support, thereby resolving the growth slowdown, as well as indirect effect of promoting carbon neutrality of the power generation sector. “As it was quantitatively confirmed that the implementation of the industrial support policy had positive economic and social effects, we could confirm the need of preparing a systematic industrial support policy for carbon neutrality as well as responding to the CBAM,” explains Dr. Jeong Hoon. “In the policy design, it is necessary to come up with an integrated support plan and improve the system thereby ensuring introduction of regulations that meet the needs of the international community and customized protection and support policies taking into account the structural characteristics of the domestic industry.”

2021.12.30

Future Research

(21-01) The Analysis of Emerging Issues
In the field of futures studies, signs and signals of the future are called emerging issues. Emerging issues are issues that would bring huge changes to society in the future, although insufficient data regarding emerging issues have appeared at present. In order to identify emerging issues in advance and prepare for them, major futures research institutes around the world put a lot of effort into emerging issue analysis under various names such as weak signals, wild cards, and early warnings. The National Assembly Futures Institute collaborated with Professor Min Song's research team at the Department of Library and Information Sciences, Yonsei University to collect 1.5 million academic literature items and applied its own computer algorithms and machine learning to derive emerging keywords. Emerging keywords are ones that are receiving new attention from experts and are expected to be mentioned more frequently in the future. About 100 domestic experts were provided with emerging keywords and asked to pick out emerging issues using the keywords, and about 70 emerging issues were identified. Researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute rearranged these into 36 emerging issues and sent them back to 42 experts to evaluate them based on their potentiality and social impact. For example, The escalating conflict between the United States and its global allies and China, new space appeared in response to climate crisis, radical energy transition in transportation and logistics, the increase in asocial behavior, and the appearance of the mosaic family have been raised as emerging issues that will have a great impact on society. In addition, emerging issues such as Robot autonomy and social consensus, emphasis on the public nature of land, entering life in space, and eco-fascism, which are relatively unlikely to occur, but that may have ripple effects on society, were also identified. Emerging issues research can be said to be important in terms of promoting and enhancing the capability of citizens to think about and formulate responses to various changes regarding the future by assessing issues that society has not yet determined the nature of – whether they are problems or opportunities.

2021.12.31

Future Research

(21-02) Education Inequality and Social Mobility in Korea
This study investigated the trend of educational inequality in Korea, focusing on the extent to which family and income background and gender affect access to higher education. Chapter 1 briefly addressed the discourse on overall education inequality in Korea as an introduction. Chapter 2 addressed the inequality and gender gap in college entry, analyzing the latest panel data. Through the analysis, it was found that in terms of admissions to four-year and prestigious universities, the gender gap completely disappeared and differences only existed between classes. However, it was newly found that the gender gap between men and women in lower class is growing with respect to admissions to college and four-year universities. Meanwhile, the gap between men and women in the selection of science and engineering majors was not narrowed, but instead was strengthened. Chapter 3 focused on educational inequality and gender gaps in graduate school advancement in Korea using the latest data. In the graduate school entrance analysis, the influence of the socioeconomic class of the student's family on advancement to graduate school was confirmed. The results showed that the socioeconomic class of the student's family had a statistically significant correlation with graduate school advancement in Korea. In addition, it was confirmed that the degree of the correlation between parents' income and education level and graduate school advancement differs by gender. The findings imply that family background is a more important determinant for women going to graduate school than men. Lastly, Chapter 4 provided implications for policy-making based on these findings.

2021.12.31

Future Research

(21-03) Lifelong Learning Experience and Social Mobility of Underprivileged Groups of Labor Market
The rapid changes in the labor market caused by technology advancement are expected to have a great impact on underprivileged workers who are not highly educated or skilled. For this reason, lifelong learning is necessary for those workers to continuously develop their knowledge and skills in order to deal with changes in the future labor market and improve the social mobility of their social class. The purpose of this study was to understand how and why the lifelong learning experiences of the underprivileged in the labor market have had an influence, or not, on their social mobility. This study specifically explored the motivations of the underprivileged to participate in lifelong learning programs, as well as their perceptions of opportunities and access to the programs. This study further explored how the underprivileged perceive the effects of lifelong learning in terms of changes in human, psychological, and social capital, and how those effects contribute to improving their social mobility. To accomplish the purpose, this study conducted five focus group interviews with 19 workers and one-to-one interviews with seven workers from underprivileged groups in the labor market. The results of this study showed that the underprivileged who participated in lifelong learning programs have, to some extent, experienced changes in human, psychological, and social capital, and those changes contributed to entering labor market or promoting their employability. However, the effectiveness of lifelong learning programs on social mobility was shown to vary according to the social contexts in which the workers were placed, the types of learning programs and curricula offered, and the workers’ motivations to learn and overall learning strategies. This study provides implications for lifelong learning policies that are aimed toward underprivileged workers. Various strategies need to be planned and implemented to improve underprivileged workers’ physical and psychological access to lifelong learning in formal and non-formal educational contexts. As positive experiences in lifelong learning can lead to continuous efforts to learn, comprehensive learning supports need to be provided for underprivileged workers, so that they can experience changes in their work and lives as a result of their participation in lifelong learning. Also, policies need to be established and implemented to integrate lifelong learning and career development programs for disadvantaged workers. In addition, certification systems and recognition of prior learning needs to be advanced and sophisticated in a way to be highly reliable and easily utilized in the labor market and formal education system.

2021.12.31

News Release

NAFI Holds 7th National Assembly Futures Forum, “Diagnosing Korea’s Readiness for the Future with Data”
NAFI Holds 7th National Assembly Futures Forum, “Diagnosing Korea’s Readiness for the Future with Data” -A joint event by National Assembly study groups (National Assembly Digital Innovation and Future Forum, National Assembly Future Policy Research Group)- The National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI, President Kim Hyeon-kon) has joined forces with National Assembly study groups (National Assembly Digital Innovation and Future Forum, National Assembly Future Policy Research Group) to hold the 7th National Assembly Futures Forum on Diagnosing Korea’s Readiness for the Future with Data at the National Assembly Members’ Office Building on November 24th. This forum is designed to ascertain whether we are fully prepared for uncertainties that face the nation going forward, including population reduction and low growth, the proliferation of technologies leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and heightened inequalities in the wake of COVID-19. Importantly, participants will recognize the need for a system to monitor our future readiness and executive faculty while seeking a data-based national strategy to respond to the future amid accelerating digital transformation. The forum will begin with opening remarks by NAFI President Kim Hyeon-kon, followed by congratulatory remarks by National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and Lawmakers Yoon Young-chan, Park Dae-soo, Noh Woong-rae, Sung Il-jong, and Park Jin, who are jointly representing the study groups. After the opening ceremony, Min Bo-gyeong, Head of the Quality of Life Group at the National Assembly Futures Institute, will give a presentation on “Are we well prepared for the environmental changes going forward: Assessment of future readiness based on data.” This will lead to a discussion with Professor Kim Dong-wook of Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Administration (moderator); Professor Bae Kwang-bin of Public Administration at Dongguk University; Yoon Joo-cheol, Tax Analyst at the National Assembly Budget Office; Lim Seong-geun, Future Administrative Innovation Research Director at the Korea Institute of Public Administration; Jeong Joon-hwa, Legislative Investigator at the National Assembly Legislative Research Office; and Choi Byung-sam, Research Fellow at the Science and Technology Research Institute. The National Assembly Futures Forum is a venue where those making up the National Assembly, including lawmakers, political parties, and institutions under the National Assembly, along with professionals from various sectors, discuss significant future issues to seek better alternatives together. NAFI President Kim Hyeon-kon stressed: “The 7th National Assembly Futures Forum will provide a meaningful platform for promoting cooperation among the institutions belonging to the National Assembly as well as academic professionals while exploring data-based research and analysis so that we can use data to find a path to becoming future-ready amid the digital transformation.” The 7th National Assembly Futures Forum will be broadcast live on YouTube while being filmed by the National Assembly Television for a recorded relay later.

2022.11.23

News Release

NAFI Concludes 6th National Assembly Futures Forum: the Future of Youth, Youth of the Future
NAFI Concludes 6th National Assembly Futures Forum: the Future of Youth, Youth of the Future -Seeking alternative youth policies for the future- The National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI, President Kim Hyeon-kon) wrapped up the 6th National Assembly Futures Forum: the Future of Youth, Youth of the Future on September 29. The event was organized jointly with National Assembly study groups (National Assembly 2040 Youth Café, National Integration Forum) and the National Youth Policy Institute (NYPI). NAFI President Kim Hyeon-kon kicked off the forum with his opening remarks. He was followed by congratulatory remarks by National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, Co-representative Yoo Jung-ju of the National Assembly 2040 Youth Café, National Integration Forum Delegate Jeong Woon-chun, Spokesperson of the Democratic Party Oh Young-hwan, Democratic Party Supreme Council member Jang Kyung-tae, and National Assembly Secretary General Lee Kwang-jae. Youth Policy Network Head Lee Ju-hyung gave a presentation on the Present and Future of Youth Policies, followed by a presentation by NAFI’s Youth Future Committee members on Voice of Young Generation on Housing, Jobs, and Political Participation for Young People. The subsequent discussion on urgent issues facing the young generation was chaired by NYPI President Kim Hyuncheol and attended by Basic Income Party Spokesperson Shin Ji-hye; Minsnail Union activist Ga Won; BigWave (Korean Youth Climate Change Network) Head Kim Min; Youth Policy Coordination Director General Song Gyeong-won at the Office of Government Policy Coordination; NAFI Associate Research Fellow Lee Sang-jic; and Youth Policy Hub Center Director Chun Young-min at the Korea Employment Information Service. National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said: “The prospects for the nation turn gloomy when young people abandon their dreams. Young people must have a say in governance to ensure a better life for themselves.” Lawmaker Yoo Jung-ju noted, “I hope this forum will initiate a process for looking into young people’s lives and discussing realistic alternatives to existing youth policies.” “We can help people make a difference and eventually reshape the entire landscape when the voice of every last young person is reflected,” stressed Lawmaker Jeong Woon-chun. Lawmaker Oh Young-hwan said, “I will pay careful attention to the youth-related issues discussed during the forum and seek their solutions.” “Young people are not bystanders; rather they are protagonists who need to participate in politics. I will work hard to make the Republic of Korea and our future society more sustainable,” said Lawmaker Jang Kyung-tae. This forum focused more on the essence of youth issues to identify and address significant and urgent issues directly related to the lives of young people. NAFI President Kim noted, “The young generation should lead the society of the future. Based on what we have found in the 6th National Assembly Futures Forum, we will seek ways to establish a better future and better alternatives to youth policies.” National Assembly Futures Forum is a venue where those making up the National Assembly, including lawmakers, political parties, and institutions under the National Assembly, along with professionals from various sectors, discuss significant future issues to seek better alternatives together. Previous forums are available on the NAFI YouTube channel and the National Assembly Television (NATV).

2022.09.30

News Release

5th National Assembly Futures Forum Successfully Held by the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI)
5th National Assembly Futures Forum Successfully Held by the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI) -It Suggested a Blueprint for Circular Economy and Future Industry- Kim Hyeon-kon, President of the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI) announced that the 5th National Assembly Futures Forum, which was co-hosted by Lee Hack-young Member’s Office, Park Dae-chul Member’s Office and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Korea, was successfully held on the subject of “Circular Economy and Future Industry” on June 9. President Kim and Eva Witteman, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to South Korea, each gave the opening address, followed by congratulatory remarks from Lee Hack-young, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea and Park Dae-chul, a member of the People Power Party. Then Sung Il-jong, a member of the People Power Party and Yangyi Won-young, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea, each gave a keynote address. The presentations were on the subject of “2050 Circular Economy Transition Scenario and Industrial Policy”. Arnoud Passenier, Strategic International Advisor at International Department of Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, gave a presentation on the topic of “Circular Economy Policy in the Netherlands”, Kim Eun-ah, an Associate Research Fellow of NAFI, gave a presentation on the “Circular Korea 2050-a Transition Scenario”, Esther Zondervan, Senior Project Manager at TNO, gave a presentation on “TNO Circular Plastics”, and Jang Yong-chul, a professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering of Chungnam National University, gave a presentation on the topic of ”Strategy and Technology Development of Plastic Circularity towards Circular Economy in Korea”. Panelists for the discussion on the subject of the “Business Cases and Future Strategies of Korea and the Netherlands” included Lee Jong-hyuk, Vice President of SK Geo Centric, Nam Jung-il, director of Korea Iron & Steel Organization, Jung Eun-ji, CEO of DSM Nutrition Korea, Kim Jun-hyeong, CSR Specialist of Heineken Korea, and Kang Yong-nam, President of Signify Korea. Lee Hack-young, a member of National Assembly, said that he hopes “NAFI will further develop and study circular economy, and continue to do so until policy can be legislated”, and Sung Il-jong, a member of National Assembly, said that “the National Assembly must refer to cases of advanced countries practicing circular economy and discuss relevant legal and institutional strategies.” Yangyi Won-young, a member of National Assembly, said that he hopes “Korea will become a society where index targets for the circular economy are set”. And Kim Eun-ah, an Associate Research Fellow of NAFI, proposed a mid-to-long-term strategy founded upon the current lack of new growth engine and of strategy for circular economy and resource security. This forum discussed green transition strategy and mid-to-long-term development plans that can create a new growth engine, while wisely utilize the limited resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the era of the Great Transition. President Kim Hyeon-kon stressed that “the 5th National Assembly Futures Forum will allow us to share mid-to-long-term vision and the goals of the green transition of circular economy, and to discuss innovative promotion strategy for industrial transition, which will contribute to establishing policy directions in the future.” National Assembly Futures Forum is a forum for discussion on major future issues, where members of National Assembly, political parties, organizations under the National Assembly and panel of experts can exchange opinions and alternatives with each other. The forum is available to watch on the NAFI YouTube channel.

2022.06.10

News Release

NAFI and National Assembly Library Conclude Business Agreement
NAFI and National Assembly Library Conclude Business Agreement -To establish a national strategic information platform and promote cooperation to strengthen National Assembly’s policymaking - The National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI, President Kim Hyeon-kon) signed a business agreement with the National Assembly Library (NAL, Chief Librarian Lee Myung Woo) at the reception room in the main building of the National Assembly on Monday, May 23. This agreement intends to build a national strategic information platform in the National Assembly Library, where the two organizations cooperate to systemically provide strategic information necessary for national policymaking and future strategy establishment. Importantly, it stresses cooperation mainly on the installation and operation of the national strategic information platform within the library; mutual use and promotion of physical and online information held in the two organizations; joint seminar hosting; and other activities. National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug delivered his congratulations at the ceremony: “It is an honor to have this achievement during my term of office during which the National Assembly leads a proposal for a mid-/long-term national agenda, which a single-term five-year government cannot fulfill. Better results will be achieved when two organizations under the National Assembly work seamlessly together on the goal of discovering mid-/long-term national agendas that present a blueprint for the future of the country. I ask them to help the National Assembly to become not a responder but a pioneer and open up the future of the Republic of Korea.” NAFI President Kim noted: “NAFI has strengths in researching national future strategies while the NAL has advantages in identifying national and international legislative trends and constructing databases. Our collaboration will create great synergy and get better results in building a national strategic information platform.” NAFI expects that a national strategic information platform will be useful not only for collecting and analyzing data but also for exploring the results and gaining perspective. The institute also predicts that the National Assembly will identify the mid-/long-term direction and standards of the country at the turning point of transforming into an advanced country and provide society members with a forum to share the direction and standards.

2022.05.23

Research Report

(21-01) The Analysis of Emerging Issues
P.I : Park Seong-won

In the field of futures studies, signs and signals of the future are called emerging issues. Emerging issues are issues that would bring huge changes to society in the future, although insufficient data regarding emerging issues have appeared at present. In order to identify emerging issues in advance and prepare for them, major futures research institutes around the world put a lot of effort into emerging issue analysis under various names such as weak signals, wild cards, and early warnings. The National Assembly Futures Institute collaborated with Professor Min Song's research team at the Department of Library and Information Sciences, Yonsei University to collect 1.5 million academic literature items and applied its own computer algorithms and machine learning to derive emerging keywords. Emerging keywords are ones that are receiving new attention from experts and are expected to be mentioned more frequently in the future. About 100 domestic experts were provided with emerging keywords and asked to pick out emerging issues using the keywords, and about 70 emerging issues were identified. Researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute rearranged these into 36 emerging issues and sent them back to 42 experts to evaluate them based on their potentiality and social impact. For example, The escalating conflict between the United States and its global allies and China, new space appeared in response to climate crisis, radical energy transition in transportation and logistics, the increase in asocial behavior, and the appearance of the mosaic family have been raised as emerging issues that will have a great impact on society. In addition, emerging issues such as Robot autonomy and social consensus, emphasis on the public nature of land, entering life in space, and eco-fascism, which are relatively unlikely to occur, but that may have ripple effects on society, were also identified. Emerging issues research can be said to be important in terms of promoting and enhancing the capability of citizens to think about and formulate responses to various changes regarding the future by assessing issues that society has not yet determined the nature of – whether they are problems or opportunities.

2021-12-31
(21-02) Education Inequality and Social Mobility in Korea
P.I : Sung Moon-ju

This study investigated the trend of educational inequality in Korea, focusing on the extent to which family and income background and gender affect access to higher education. Chapter 1 briefly addressed the discourse on overall education inequality in Korea as an introduction. Chapter 2 addressed the inequality and gender gap in college entry, analyzing the latest panel data. Through the analysis, it was found that in terms of admissions to four-year and prestigious universities, the gender gap completely disappeared and differences only existed between classes. However, it was newly found that the gender gap between men and women in lower class is growing with respect to admissions to college and four-year universities. Meanwhile, the gap between men and women in the selection of science and engineering majors was not narrowed, but instead was strengthened. Chapter 3 focused on educational inequality and gender gaps in graduate school advancement in Korea using the latest data. In the graduate school entrance analysis, the influence of the socioeconomic class of the student's family on advancement to graduate school was confirmed. The results showed that the socioeconomic class of the student's family had a statistically significant correlation with graduate school advancement in Korea. In addition, it was confirmed that the degree of the correlation between parents' income and education level and graduate school advancement differs by gender. The findings imply that family background is a more important determinant for women going to graduate school than men. Lastly, Chapter 4 provided implications for policy-making based on these findings.

2021-12-31
(21-03) Lifelong Learning Experience and Social Mobility of Underprivileged Groups of Labor Market
P.I : Sung Moon-ju

The rapid changes in the labor market caused by technology advancement are expected to have a great impact on underprivileged workers who are not highly educated or skilled. For this reason, lifelong learning is necessary for those workers to continuously develop their knowledge and skills in order to deal with changes in the future labor market and improve the social mobility of their social class. The purpose of this study was to understand how and why the lifelong learning experiences of the underprivileged in the labor market have had an influence, or not, on their social mobility. This study specifically explored the motivations of the underprivileged to participate in lifelong learning programs, as well as their perceptions of opportunities and access to the programs. This study further explored how the underprivileged perceive the effects of lifelong learning in terms of changes in human, psychological, and social capital, and how those effects contribute to improving their social mobility. To accomplish the purpose, this study conducted five focus group interviews with 19 workers and one-to-one interviews with seven workers from underprivileged groups in the labor market. The results of this study showed that the underprivileged who participated in lifelong learning programs have, to some extent, experienced changes in human, psychological, and social capital, and those changes contributed to entering labor market or promoting their employability. However, the effectiveness of lifelong learning programs on social mobility was shown to vary according to the social contexts in which the workers were placed, the types of learning programs and curricula offered, and the workers’ motivations to learn and overall learning strategies. This study provides implications for lifelong learning policies that are aimed toward underprivileged workers. Various strategies need to be planned and implemented to improve underprivileged workers’ physical and psychological access to lifelong learning in formal and non-formal educational contexts. As positive experiences in lifelong learning can lead to continuous efforts to learn, comprehensive learning supports need to be provided for underprivileged workers, so that they can experience changes in their work and lives as a result of their participation in lifelong learning. Also, policies need to be established and implemented to integrate lifelong learning and career development programs for disadvantaged workers. In addition, certification systems and recognition of prior learning needs to be advanced and sophisticated in a way to be highly reliable and easily utilized in the labor market and formal education system.

2021-12-31
(21-04) ‘A study on legislative measures for industrial support in response to the climate crisis’
P.I : Jeong Hoon

As climate change accelerates, the world has been pushing for Carbon Neutrality. Thus far, over 130 countries have declared their intent to eventually achieve Carbon Neutrality, and the developed countries, including the EU, have been reorganizing their climate change policies and laws from a long-term perspective with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality and sustainable development. Korea has also joined this effort, declaring its intent to achieve carbon neutrality in Oct. 2020, and has been preparing to reorganize its climate change policies and laws. Furthermore, these global movements to respond to climate change request industries to take environmental and social responsibilities. ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) and RE100 are corporate initiatives that are spreading worldwide, and the European parliament has proposed the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to prevent carbon leakage and secure a level playing field for EU producers. As Korea, which is highly dependent on exports, can be particularly affected by the introduction of such a system, it is necessary to prepare response strategies. From this point of view, the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI) has sought the direction for improving the domestic legal system and policies to enable an effective response to climate change. To this end, we investigated the problems of existing domestic climate change legislation and policies. We compared and analyzed domestic and foreign climate change legislation and policy trends through literature research and a Semantic Network Analysis (SNA). A Delphi survey of 25 climate change experts was also conducted. Based on our analysis of domestic and foreign policies and laws and the results of the Delphi survey, a direction for improving Korean legislation to the level of advanced countries and policy measures for industrial support were presented.

2021-12-31
(21-05) ‘A study on industrial policy measures and the prediction of policy impact in response to a carbon border adjustment mechanism’
P.I : Jeong Hoon

To respond to the accelerated climate crisis, the world is aiming to transition to a carbon-neutral society. The transition to a carbon-neutral society is a large and difficult task that requires extensive transformation of the fossil fuel-based economic and social system that has driven the development of modern human society. If we do not develop a thorough plan to guide this transition, not only will we lose trust in the international community, but the national economy will also suffer. In particular, the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which was recently announced by the European Union (EU), heralds a change in the international trade order. This is expected to have a significant impact on the Korean economy, which is highly dependent on exports, and hinges on major industries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gas. Not only is the steel industry affected, as it is expected to apply CBAM from 2023, but the scope of CBAM is likely to expand in the future. This is why we have to preemptively respond to CBAM in order to ensure the competitiveness of our export industries. Accordingly, the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI) has analyzed the impact of the introduction of CBAM on domestic industries by calculating the amount of additional burden on domestic industries following its implementation. NAFI subsequently proposed policy measures to support industries as they respond appropriately. The study found that the amount of additional burden on the domestic industry could reach trillions of won if the EU CBAM is fully introduced in 2030. The full introduction of CBAM here means that CBAM would be applied up to Scope 3 for all industries. It was also confirmed that the additional cost burden caused by the full introduction of CBAM can lead to declines in major macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, social utility, and investment. However, it was also confirmed that the faithful implementation of the existing energy transition, as well as policies to support industry – such as R&D subsidies – can reduce the burden on industries and restore the economic indicators that have fallen. Through these results, we can see how urgent and important the response to CBAM is, and how important it is to design and implement effective policies.

2021-12-31
(21-06) Towards a more resilient Korean innovation system: Investigating the innovation strategies for building resilience for the post-COVID-19 era
P.I : Yeo Yeong-jun

Our socioeconomic system is facing grand challenges from the future environment, along with structural problems accumulated from the past. In particular, with the COVID-19, we were able to experience many changes in the economic system, in terms of global supply chains, industrial competitiveness, local communities, and society in general. Therefore, it is now time to establish a national strategy to prepare for a “new normal”, not simply discuss recovery. In order to promote the sustainable development of the socioeconomic system of the future, it is necessary to consider securing resilience capabilities with in-depth understandings of the characteristics of future environmental changes. With this background, by combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, we have attempted to derive megatrend scenarios that characterize mid- to long-term socioeconomic changes in the post-COVID-19 era, and proposed policy alternatives for each scenario. Accordingly, we have tried to explore various future possibilities by identifying the key drivers and their interactions which are related to the efforts to search for innovative alternatives to respond to socioeconomic changes in the post-COVID-19 era. Based on these quantitative findings, we have proposed 10 key megatrend scenarios such as, promotion of digital transformation for social innovation, wide spread of telemedicine ecosystem and relevant institutional changes, etc. In addition, by proposing policy options for each major scenario based on the qualitative approaches, we aimed to explore mid- to long-term policy directions to secure the transformative resilience capability of the Korean innovation system. We expect that the key findings of this study will provide opportunities to reflect on the direction to be taken for the recovery and great transformation of our socioeconomic system and to gather policy efforts.

2021-12-31
(21-07) Comparison and analysis of demographic structure and social expenditure in OECD countries
P.I : Lee Chae-jeong

This report examined the changes in the demographic structure of each Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country and reviewed the factors associated with changes in fertility rates. After the Korean War in 1953, Korea showed a high fertility rate of 6 births per woman in 1960, but has steadily declined since the early 1960s. In addition, during the global oil crisis in the 1970s, the fertility rate fell due to the global economic downturn in the early 1980s, and declined again following the 1997 economic crisis. Since then, the total fertility rate has continued to drop due to a sharp decline in the proportion of married women. Through analyzing the characteristics of each OECD country, its social expenditure structure, and its resource allocation efficiency, it was found that Korea has a lower tax revenue relative to its economic level (GDP per capita), and Japan's elderly population ratio exceeds 25%. In addition, Korea has the highest ratio of working-age people in the population when compared with countries with similar economic levels. Further, its fertility rate is the lowest among all OECD countries, approaching the 1.0 births per woman range. As a result of examining the relationship between the characteristics of OECD countries and the amount of social expenditures, it was found that there is a strong and positive correlation between total tax revenue and social expenditure in Korea. Korea is a low-burden, low-welfare country; the ratio of the elderly population is equivalent to what is identified in middle- and low-income countries, and the size of the country’s social expenditure is lower than that of other countries with the same ratio of older adults. Meanwhile, Korea is a country with a high ratio of working-age people and has low social expenditures, which differs from the average country, and may reflect the fact that the Baby Boomers have not yet retired. Despite the low fertility rate in Korea, the scale of social expenditures is low and falls beyond the confidence interval. In addition, in order to understand the social expenditure efficiency, the Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) method was used to analyze the social expenditure efficiency in OECD member countries. The analysis identified that while income inequality or subjective life satisfaction did not vary greatly between countries, Korea showed a median level across both variables; further, income and job efficiency were low, and housing conditions and work–life balance were high in light of efficiency versus budget inputs. For 15 years, the Korean government has been promoting a step-by-step policy in response to its low birth rates and aging society. However, it has undergone large and small changes each year, and basic plans have been developed based on changes in the country’s regime and policies. With respect to the required budget, some differences were identified, but the budget across policy fields tended to increase each year, and the growth rate also increased. When establishing its second basic plan, the government attempted to achieve the following: 1) expand the policy target to dual-income households and Baby Boomers to enhance satisfaction with and effectiveness of the policy; 2) establish and promote multilateral and comprehensive measures; and 3) promote pan-social policy cooperation. The third plan differs from the previous two plans in that it attempts to provide a comprehensive and structural approach by creating a paradigm shift in how to respond to the low birthrate and aging society. The third plan underwent a restructuring process, in which the number of tasks was reduced and its effectiveness was increased. Tasks not related to policy goals were excluded from the basic plan to maintain the budget and focus on the most effective tasks; existing tasks were classified and various levels of autonomy were granted based on importance. In order to efficiently reorganize the basic plan that aims to address the low birth rates and aging society in Korea, which is the top basic plan in Korean social policy, it is necessary to clarify the priorities of individual policies and seek specific measures to enhance the efficiency of these major policies.

2021-12-31
(21-08) Evaluation of response policies for low birth rates and an aging society
P.I : Lee Chae-jeong

This report examines the distribution of social risks by life cycle, conducts a meta-evaluation using the results from a performance evaluation of policies included in the government's Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aged Society from 2007 to 2018, and analyzes the distribution and gaps of regional social services for children and the elderly. By evaluating the policies developed in response to the low birth rate and aging of society, the report derived the following implications. First, the study found that material poverty, which refers to direct poverty experiences and income poverty, is related to physical and mental health and suicide. However, the government's policies have not reflected policy issues that required policy intervention, such as mental health or suicide risk. Further, there were no policy implementation tasks related to the establishment and management of delivery systems, which are essential for alleviating problems through the provision of various social services. Overall, the provision of cash benefits, such as income security policies, as well as a systematic policy mix should be prepared by making linkages with various social services, including education, medical care, and housing. Second, the budget execution rate for policies that target children, adolescents, and middle-aged people is low, so it is necessary to analyze policies that target these groups by type to seek improvement measures in the policy planning and execution stage. These results suggest that when implementing government policies, a high proportion of the budget was invested in those policies that target the elderly, so that the Basic Plan for Low Fertility and Aged Society may have been promoted for the elderly after retirement. Third, considering that the degree of achievement of policies for the middle-aged is insufficient, it is necessary to strengthen policies for middle-aged adults in the future. Given the social shock that resulted from the retirement of middle-aged adults, and the subsequent increase of the elderly population, it is necessary to establish a strategy that eases the transition to a super-aged society through various social policies for the middle-aged. Fourth, with respect to income security policies, the budget execution rate was lower than that of other policies, but the target achievement rate was higher. Further, it will be easier to achieve goals of income security policies when compared with other policies because there are many cash transfer policies, such as the child allowance and basic pension. However, to change the overall social structure and to develop an infrastructure that responds to future population changes in society, it is necessary to identify measures to improve the target achievement rates for health, medical, job, and settlement projects with low target execution rates. In addition, it is necessary to examine the possible policy changes that could be triggered by demographic changes, so that income security policies – which receive continuous investments in the form of large budgets – can be efficiently implemented. Fifth, it is necessary to analyze the distribution of and gaps in major social services by region to identify ways to establish and operate an efficient social service delivery system in response to changes in the demographic structure. When looking at the distribution and gap analysis results of major social services that target children and the elderly, it was found that different approaches are needed to reorganize the social service delivery system based on the type and region of service provided. Considering the distribution of the population by region, measures need to be implemented in areas where the expectations on service providers are excessive; alternatives are needed to inform the quantitative and qualitative expansion and adjustment of delivery systems by service type.

2021-12-31

Brief Report

[National Future Strategic Insight] “Future Vision 2037: Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society” (No. 36)
P.I : Kim Yu-bean

This report points out that Korea has displayed unprecedented rapid economic growth, but on the other hand, individuals and societies suffer from inequality, polarization, antagonism and confrontation, thereby envisioning “Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society”, emphasizing the need for transition to a society where individuals and communities are not sacrificed for the national development goal but design the future together as equal subjects, and value quality rather than quantitative expansion. The researchers present “autonomy and decentralization”, “diversity”, “priority to the socially vulnerable” as values we have to direct towards, with 12 specific mid- to long-term agendas under four goals “individual capacity and quality of life”, “harmonized community”, “paradigm shift and sustainable growth” and “mediation and cooperation against domestic/international conflicts”. The report is intended to focus on mid- to long-term agendas that three governments should continue to push forward, considering that a new government will be launched in 2022. By analyzing the issues of consensus, potential conflict, and fierce confrontation by each agenda from various perspectives, the report presents a topic for expanding social conversation in the future. This report has been prepared to display the key points of “Future Vision 2037: Transition from Growth-Oriented to Matured Society” of the National Mid-to-Long-Term Agenda Committee (“Committee”), which is an advisory body under the Speaker of the National Assembly established at the end of November 2020 to discover national tasks and future issues required to be continuously discussed beyond the five-year term of the administration. Future Vision 2037 Report is the outcome of Committee-supported research conducted over the past year by forming a joint research team led by NAFI, other government-funded research institutes under the jurisdiction of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (NRC) and the National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST), and 60 experts from major universities. “As this report contains national agendas requiring continuous discussion beyond the five-year term of the administration, we plan to use various tools to promote the research results so that the politicians and the public can continue to take interest,” explains Research Fellow Kim Yu-bean of NAFI.

2022-01-10
[National Future Strategic Insight] Policies to Support Industries Affected by Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and Policy Effect Analysis (No. 35)
P.I : Jeong Hoon, Yeo Yeong-jun

Performing a survey for 25 experts by Jeong Hoon (Research Fellow) and Yeo Yeong-jun (Associate Research Fellow), respondents answered that “pro forma opinion gathering” and “hasty and exclusive legislative process” are the biggest obstacles of domestic climate policy and legislation. They confirmed that by enhancing policies and legislation, the regulatory restructuring, promotion of domestic industry conversion and export industry support should be integrated. Further, the CBAM-oriented supports should encompass support, protection, promotion and conversion as strategic directions, including tax benefits, funding support, R&D support, distribution/commercialization, infrastructure, customized support for each industry, reasonable transaction framework, innovative system, policy governance, education and publicity. The priority of the proposed industrial support policy tasks was analyzed based on urgency and effectiveness with analytic hierarchy process (AHP), which was given to R&D support, tax benefits, funding support, customized support for each industry, innovative system, distribution/commercialization, infrastructure, policy governance, reasonable transaction framework, and education and publicity in this order. Additionally, the researchers proved the importance and effectiveness of the industrial support policy by analyzing the socioeconomic ripple effect using the computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for “R&D support” with the highest priority, and also confirmed that major macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, social utility, and investment, which had fallen due to the CBAM, recovered somewhat with R&D support, thereby resolving the growth slowdown, as well as indirect effect of promoting carbon neutrality of the power generation sector. “As it was quantitatively confirmed that the implementation of the industrial support policy had positive economic and social effects, we could confirm the need of preparing a systematic industrial support policy for carbon neutrality as well as responding to the CBAM,” explains Dr. Jeong Hoon. “In the policy design, it is necessary to come up with an integrated support plan and improve the system thereby ensuring introduction of regulations that meet the needs of the international community and customized protection and support policies taking into account the structural characteristics of the domestic industry.”

2021-12-30
[National Future Strategic Insight] Future Strategies to Response to Population Shock: Mitigation and Adaptation (No. 34)
P.I : Min Bo-gyeong

Dr. Min Bo-gyeong, the Head of Quality of Life Group, has classified regions based on variables reflecting population, regional economy, and spatial characteristics, and suggested, in consideration of regional characteristics, the need to properly mix the adaptation strategy premised on population decline and the mitigation strategy for population growth. Dr. Min also proposed that, as a variety of proper responses sought, it is necessary to (1) stablish a region-led future strategy that reflects regional characteristics and emphasizes the autonomy of local governments; (2) promote customized future strategies and define the role of the central government; (3) review the existing regional development methods centered on strategies to overcome population decline and demographic change, and (4) convert into a regional policy system and seek active measures to respond to demographic changes, thereby balancing population and living conditions. According to the report, a death cross occurred in 2020 with fewer births than deaths, and birth rate decline has been spreading from underdeveloped areas to small and medium-sized cities and large cities for more than 20 years, observing significant difference between regions. Dr. Min emphasized that it is inevitable to shift from the past regional development strategy on the assumption of population growth, with awareness that the crisis of population decline is a reality and it is necessary to build up effective strategies. “Concentration in the metropolitan area and population decline in rural areas should be recognized as a national crisis, not a regional crisis,” explains Dr. Min. “As population decline and demographic changes are expected to keep intensifying , it is necessary to appropriately implement local government-led mitigation sand adaptation strategies reflecting regional characteristics.”

2021-12-23
[National Future Strategic Insight] Exploring Improvements in Framework for Social Services due to Low Birth Rate and Aging Society (No. 33).
P.I : Lee Chae-jeong

Dr. Lee Chae-jeong drew a distribution map of early childhood care and education (ECCE) services, school age services, elderly long-term care (ELTC) services, and nursing hospitals within the living environment. For the ECCE and school age services, differences in competition and exclusion levels were observed between regions with a high density of children and regions otherwise. The ELTC services and nursing hospitals showed various distribution patterns by region in terms of competition and exclusion levels. The term “competition level” herein is defined as the number of available service providers versus the service target population; “exclusion level” is defined as the size of target population for which no services are available within their living environment. In particular, relatively higher completion/exclusion levels were recorded in Sejong and Jeju, while Seoul showed higher completion level and lower exclusion level in childhood care services. Both competition and exclusion levels were lower in Gangwon-do and Chungcheongbuk-do. A relatively higher exclusion level for childhood care services was observed in In Gyeongsangbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do. Dr. Lee, based on outcomes of her research, concluded that different approaches are needed in reorganizing a social service framework by region. She also suggested that it is necessary to expand the ELTC service framework to the extent that satisfies the demand in consideration of a super-aged society we are about to face and regional characteristics; to efficiently reduce ECCE facilities in regions where the service providers are crowded considering the declined birth rate; and to build a national network of the ECCE services to ensure the “National Minimum”.

2021-12-15
[National Future Strategic Insight] College Education to Improve Entrepreneurial Mindset of Youth (No. 32)
P.I : Sung Moon-ju

Dr. Sung Moon-ju (Associate Research Fellow) has pointed out lack of entrepreneurial mindset in Korea, and suggested that changes and innovations are needed in college education to foster such mindset for young people who are preparing to enter the labor market or in the early stages of their careers. Entrepreneurial mindset is drawing considerable attention for successful response to changes caused by the recent growth slowdown and 4.0 Industry, which is a specific set of capabilities to proactively seize opportunities, take risks, and turn new ideas into economically and socially valuable products, services, and processes. According to the study, the entrepreneurial mindset positively influences start-up, employment, career, psychosocial status, attitude and college life of students. In addition, college education will contribute to cultivating mindset in young people with continuous efforts to foster entrepreneurship, improve awareness of entrepreneurs creating socioeconomic values, and revitalize start-ups and job creation. Especially, in order to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset of the youth and our society, changes are necessary in terms of the role of colleges, educational paradigms, curriculum and methodology. Others required simultaneously include changes in social and cultural factors, such as social sharing of risk of failure following challenges through new education practice and social safety nets, and institutional factors such as innovation in government regulations and startup support process. “This report identified the role and promotion factors of entrepreneurship for college students with analysis of previous studies, and drew takeaways referring to the cases of Dutch universities,” explains Dr. Sung.

2021-12-09
[Futures Brief] 15 Emerging Issues in 2022 (No. 4)
P.I : Park Seong-won

Park Seong-won, the Head of Innovative Growth Group, has selected highly likable nd influential issues out of 15 emerging issues that will draw considerable attention in 2022: (1) a new phase of the U.S.-China conflicts; (2) frequent environmental disasters and increased international disputes; (3) rapid progress energy transition; (4) response to the climate crisis; (5) advancement of virtual reality; (6) A.I. misuse and algorithm bias; (7) desocialization; (8) increase in social care works; (9) negotiation for a new wage system agreement; and (9) “mosaic family”. Less likable but influential emerging issues in his prediction include: (1) land publicity; (2) combination of energy independence and decentralization; (3) autonomy of robots and social consensus; (4) habitable zone in space; and (5) ecofascism. Highly likable and influential issues are issues currently occurring and expected to become more severe in the future. It is predicted that international disputes will be further intensified focusing on environmental preservation and technology competition; climate crisis responses and A.I. technology will lead to social confusion and concerns; a degree of independence will be driven by individualist society; and socially vulnerable groups will be more isolated. For less likable but influential issues, ecofacism may be emerged as a political reaction to environmental conservation while public domain, the influence of technology and human interactions may tend to expand. It is also predicted that crisis response may require publicity, social consensus and decentralization; calls for safe zones may increase with the radical development of technology; and a new trend of recognizing the space as a zone people can live in may be also emerged. “It is reasonable to understand most of the emerging issues raised as future changes including current discussions,” explains Dr. Park. “If we keep publicizing less likable but influential emerging issues, we will be able to respond to Black Swans such as the global financial crisis or pandemic.”

2021-12-02
[International Strategic Foresight] Changes in International Conflicts Viewed from Big Data (GDELT) (No. 6)
P.I : Park, Sung Jun

Dr. Park, Sung Jun (Associate Research Fellow) has found that transition in the conflict index, identified by GDELT, corresponds to the changes in international relations as understood by us to the certain extent, and captures more accurately the changes in conflict between two countries as compared with the tone information provided by the GDELT Event Database. In this report, he constructed a conflict index based on the average tone information and the number of events provided by GDELT Event Database, and observed changes in relations between countries using such an index. It was confirmed that: Korea-Japan disputes were drastically intensified due to Japan’s restriction on the export of high-tech materials used in semiconductors and displays in July 2019; Korea-China relations deteriorated considerably after Korea announced its intention to deploy THAAD and China imposed an unofficial boycott in the first half of 2017; South Korea-North Korea relations significantly deteriorated due to PMD mine incident in 2015, nuclear test and launch of satellites in 2016; U.S.-North Korea relations were most hostile in 2016 when America citizens were arrested in North Korea UN Security Council resolution was adopted to impose additional sanctions on North Korea, and North Korea has carried out the test launch of the long range ballistic missiles; U.S.-China relations deteriorated sharply by the military activities in the contested South China Sea, the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, and the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in 2020; and Australia-China conflict fully began in 2020 when Australia stood on the side of the United Stated and called for an investigation of COVID-19. “This study focused on the derivation and verification of conflict index. I expect that this index can be used to analyze and forecast international relations and the impact of conflicts between countries on the economy of such countries and worldwide,” explains Dr. Park.

2021-11-25