Table of Contents

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series

Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

This comparative Handbook provides a pioneering and comprehensive account of regulatory impact assessment – the main instrument used by governments and regulators to appraise the likely effects of their policy proposals. Renowned international scholars and practitioners describe the substance of impact assessment, situating it in its proper theoretical traditions and scrutinizing its usage across countries, policy sectors, and policy instruments. The Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment will undoubtedly be of great value to practitioners and also scholars with its wealth of detail and lessons to be learned.

Chapter 24: South Korea

Tae-Yun Kim and SongJune Kim

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


Government regulation can impose disproportionate burdens on citizens and impinge on their rights even when it does not entail covert costs. The central administrative agencies in Korea are required to prepare regulatory impact analysis (IA) for every major regulatory action they undertake by the Basic Act on Regulation. The overall evaluation of the quality of IA reports, however, remains ambiguous or unfavourable. There appear to be some problems such as low data and information quality, a lack of external consultation and poor analytical techniques in drafting IA reports. It remains unclear whether the IA system has been properly administered in Korea based on legal requirements. Government agencies regard IA reports as only a formal requirement on the ground. Even when government agencies endeavour to prepare IA reports in an effective manner, they face human and financial resource constraints and thus have little time to work on substantial IA outcomes. IA issues in Korea can be classified into several types based on the background and causes: (1) a lack of information and consultation/advisory activities; (2) grudging formalization of the IA system; (3) limitations of the cost-benefit analysis; (4) a lack of IAs’ examination, quality control and evaluation functions; (5) regulatory inertia for legislation by the National Assembly (which is free from IA obligation). Although IA quality remains far from being satisfactory, various government initiatives have gradually enhanced Korea’s IA competency and performance. First, diverse efforts to improve institutional circumstances have been made to conduct IA in a more effective manner. Second, Korea has established some education and training systems for IA staff members.

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