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ECHS student published by the International Social Science Conference for Youth

ECHS senior Minseok (Kevin) Cho was recently published by the International Social Science Conference for Youth for his paper titled, “Trend Analysis of South Korea’s Restaurant Economy: Oversaturation and Monopolistic Competition.” The conference is sponsored by global non-profit World Federation of United Nations Association.

The five-month long research project and culminating 19-page paper examines Seoul’s restaurant industry in depth. It included analyzing numerical data as well as conducting qualitative research with those in the restaurant industry. Among his findings, Minseok determined that the variable costs for many restaurant owners was higher than their average revenues. He also reported a tendency of restaurant owners to follow food trends, which were largely unsustainable in the long-term and negatively affected the greater Seoul economy.

Minseok was inspired to learn more about economics, and variable costs in particular, while taking economics class taught by Esther Kim. On his own, he submitted his proposal to the association, was invited to submit a paper, and was finally selected as one of a small pool of students for publication.

As far as his interest in the restaurant industry, Minseok says he “initially wanted to be a chef. During the COVID pandemic, I saw so many restaurants closing, so I wanted to figure out the economic perspective of the industry. However, as I was doing the research, I realized my interest leaned more toward economics than it did in restaurants.”

In addition to his published paper, Minseok has also been engaged with a creative volunteer project regarding the restaurant industry this year. “I was researching and I learned that Indonesian people suffered from food borne illness. As a high schooler, I can’t change policies, but I was thinking I wanted to help a little bit.” He is currently working with NGO Africa Asia Development Relief Foundation on producing an innovative lunch box to combat food borne illness. “They are going to sell it at a fair in June,” says Minseok, “and if that goes well, then that’s going to become big.”

To access Minseok’s paper, click here:


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