Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Second Department

Asian Studies

Reader 1

Albert Park

Reader 2

Paul Hurley


This senior thesis investigates the intricate relationship between the rise of populism, increasing housing prices, and declining fertility rates within the context of South Korea. It will first look at the declining fertility rates in South Korea and look at the potential causes behind its record decline. It will then look in particular at the relationships between housing prices and the decline in fertility rates. Finally, it will look at politics and populism and its impact on housing prices which in turn affected fertility rates.

In recent years, South Korea has experienced a surge in populism, with populist leaders often pledging to address economic disparities and social grievances. Paradoxically, this study explores how populist policies, while catering to public sentiments, have inadvertently contributed to the skyrocketing costs of housing, leading to a significant decline in fertility rates.

By analyzing the policy decisions and rhetoric of populist leaders, as well as housing market data and demographic trends, the study aims to shed light on the mechanisms through which populism influenced housing prices and, in turn, affected family planning choices.

Key objectives of the research include:

1. Examining the policy measures and economic priorities of populist government in South Korea and its direct and indirect effects on housing markets.

2. Investigating the impact of soaring housing prices on the decision-making processes of young couples regarding family planning, exploring how financial constraints may lead to postponed or reduced fertility.

The findings of this study may contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between political populism, economic policy, and demographic trends. Moreover, it offers insights into potential policy solutions and the need for a more comprehensive approach to address the consequences of populist governance on society, including housing affordability and fertility rates. Ultimately, this research provides valuable insights into the urgent and evolving challenges South Korea faces in sustaining a balanced and thriving society.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.