Keun Lee



  • Fellow
  • Innovation, Equity, & The Future of Prosperity


  • Seoul National University
Department of Economics


  • Republic of Korea


PhD Economics (University of California, Berkeley)


Keun Lee is a professor of economics at Seoul National University, and founding director of the Center for Economic Catch-up.

He is an editor of Research Policy, an associate editor of Industrial and Corporate Change, a council member of the World Economic Forum, and a life-time fellow of the Korea Academy of Science and Technology. He served as the President of the International Schumpeter Society (2016-18) and as a member of the Committee for Development Policy of UN (2014-18). One of his most cited articles is a paper on Korea’s Technological Catch-up published in Research Policy, with 1,110 citations (Google Scholar).


2014 Schumpeter Award (for his book on Schumpeterian Analysis of Economic Catch-up, Cambridge Univ Press) by the International Schumpeter Society (Germany), 2014 July

Academic Prize by the National Academy of Sciences of Korea. 2015.

The Award for the Research on the Korean economy (Korean Economic Association): 2017, 2.

The Chung Foundation Award: A Prize for best book of year, awarded by Maeil Business Newspaper, July 2009.

Chung-ram Prize, 2004 by the Korean Economic Association, (best economist in Korea of age 45 or less)

Relevant Publications

2019. The Art of Economic Catch-up: barriers, detours and leapfrogging. Cambridge Univ, Press.

2019. “National innovation systems, economic complexity, and economic growth,” Journal of Evolutionary Economics (with J. Lee), DOI: 10.1007/s00191-019-00612-3.

2018. "Impact of Financialization and Financial Development on Inequality (with H. Shin)," Asian Economic Papers 18 (1), 69-90.

2018. “Employment effect of innovation under different market structure (with J. Lim),” Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2018

2013. Schumpeterian Analysis of Economic Catch-up: Knowledge, Path-creation, and Middle Income Trap, Cambridge Univ. Press 2013.