South Korea Monthly Index

Download Korean EPU Data                    Annotated Korean EPU Index

We construct the South Korean EPU Index in the same manner as our EPU index based on American newspapers. For South Korea, we use six newspapers: Donga Ilbo, Kyunghyang, Maeil Economic (from 1995), Hankyoreh, Hankook Ilbo and Korea Economic Daily (from 1995). We count the number of newspaper articles containing the terms uncertain or uncertainty; economic, economy or commerce; and one or more of the following policy-relevant terms: government, "Blue House", congress, authorities, legislation, tax, regulation, "Bank of Korea", "central bank", deficit, WTO, law/bill or "ministry of finance". We conduct all searches in the native language of the newspaper. For a listing of terms in Korean, see Appendix A in "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty" by Scott Baker, Nicholas Bloom and Steven J. Davis.

To obtain the EPU rate for each paper, we scale the raw EPU counts by the number of all articles in the same newspaper and month. We impute the newspaper-level EPU rates for a small number of months to address archive anomalies. To construct the overall South Korean EPU index, we first standardize each paper's EPU rate to unit standard deviation from 1995 to 2014. Using these standardized series, we average the EPU rates across papers by month and then multiplicatively rescale the resulting series to a mean of 100 from January 1990 to December 2014.

Effective September 2016, archive issues compelled us to drop Donga Ilbo from the set of newspapers we use to construct our South Korean EPU Index. We splice the new version of the index (using the other five papers mentioned above) to the old version based on their overlap from January to August 2016.

We thank Jessica Koh and Ziho Park for assistance in developing and constructing the South Korean EPU Index.