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Jong-Hyun Yi

History of Korean Modern Retailing

Repressed Consumption and Retail Industry, Perceived Equality and Economic Growth

Jong-Hyun Yi

In History of Korean Modern Retailing Jong-Hyun Yi shows how the Korean retail industry has developed since the 1970s, focusing on the relationship among government, consumers and retail companies, especially the department store. While generally it is said that underdevelopment of the Korean retail industry in the 1970s was attributed to economic immaturity, he argues it was artificially formed by strong consumption repression by the government. He also examines how consumption repression contributed to economic growth. Such initial condition in developmental period is a crucial factor to explain other distinctions like explosive growth and remarkably short heyday of the department store afterward.

With this, Jong-Hyun Yi traces the correlation between economic growth and stratification of the consumption since the 1970s. He proves that equality or inequality of consumption is a more influential factor for economic growth than that of income.