The aim of this paper is to depict the social problems common to South Korea and Japan by comparing their consumption behaviors. For that purpose, we utilize the Survey of Household Economy of both countries and attempt to determine the similarities and differences between the two countries. Our empirical analysis revealed the following. First, although both countries are aging, the first quartile (the poorest in under the definition in this paper) in South Korea has aged more rapidly than in to Japan. As the wages in these two countries formerly increased with age, this substantial divergence in the age composition in the poorest quartile is a remarkable change and suggests that income inequality has been more widely spreading out in South Korea than in Japan. Furthermore, the education expenditure ratio in South Korea is statistically significant for higher income level, while this is not the case in Japan. If the opportunity for better education is dominated by wealthier households, the prompt implementation of a policy to break this vicious circle is necessary in South Korea.
The Econometric Model