ISSN : 0023-3900
Regional economic disparities in Korea are analyzed in this paper using available data on employment, income (measured by gross regional domestic product), and income tax. The conventional claim that regional economic disparities are partly a result of regional favoritismthe interpretation by political geography--is not unequivocally supported at least during the period from 1985 to 2001. Even though one can make a plausible case for regional favoritism before 1985, it is still difficult to fathom out the effect of politics from the effect of economic geography. Regional cleavage between the southwestern and the southeastern part of the country is thus concluded to be a product of politics of regional sentiment rather than a product of regional economic reality. The paper finds, however, a worrisome trend of divergence in regional income disparities between Koreas Capital region and the rest of the country since 1993. This center-periphery like relationship between the Capital region and the rest of the country poses a great challenge in Korea’s future territorial management.