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The dual process of Korean labor market transformation : Decomposing the size-wage gap, 1982~2004

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  • The dual process of Korean labor market transformation
  • Kim, Young Mi; Han, Joon
  • Seoul National University(Center for Social Sciences)


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Title The dual process of Korean labor market transformation
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Decomposing the size-wage gap, 1982~2004

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Kim, Young Mi; Han, Joon

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(Center for Social Sciences)

Date 2012
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR):vol. 2(no. 1)
Pages 32
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Economy < Economic Conditions
Social Development < Employment
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

This study aims to understand the nature of the structural change in the Korean labor market by analyzing the wage gap between large firms and small to medium-sized firms between 1982 and 2004. The result reveals that Korea experienced two historical moments in which the size-wage gap surged: one in 1987, the year of mass labor strikes spurred by the democratization movement, and the other in 1997, the year the Asian financial crisis began. Whereas the first moment was a temporary phenomenon lasting only until the early 1990s, the second moment led to a continuous wage-gap increase. The result of an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of the wage gap shows that the factors contributing to the widening of the wage gap since the economic crisis were different between the manual sector and the nonmanual sector. For manual workers, the increase of the size-wage gap was mostly induced by compositional effects, specifically the increased share of long-tenured workers in large firms. For non-manual workers, however, it was a price effect. In light of the current debate on the transformation of the internal labor market, we conclude that a corporate internal labor market exists persistently, although reduced in size, in the manual sector, whereas the corporate boundary is significantly weakened in the non-manual sector. This dual process of labor market transformation, however, results in an increased size-wage gap in both sectors, although for differing reasons.