South Korea is the only former colonial nation that has grown into a 50-30 Club member all in a very miraculous fashion. The 50-30 Club hosts only seven countries in the world, including the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and South Korea, all of which have more than 50 million population with a per capita income of more than US$30,000. Pundits held that one of the secrets to the Korean model was holding inequality low during developmental periods. However, globalization, democratization, and joining the prestigious global club made Korea look very unequal. This paper explores causes of equality and inequality before and after development. This paper finds that cultural, institutional, and global factors are both beneficial and inimical to equality in the case of South Korea.
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