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Falling Labor Income Inequality in Korea's Economic Growth: Patterns and Underlying Causes


  • Fields, Gary S
  • Yoo, Gyeongjoon


Over the last twenty-five years, the economy of the Republic of Korea achieved a remarkable growth rate of 7 percent per year in real per capita income, causing it to be labeled, justifiably, as a "miracle economy." This exceptional economic growth has been accompanied by an even more exceptional fall in labor income inequality. Using a newly-developed methodology, we use data from Korea's Occupational Wage Surveys to quantify the importance of various factors that have contributed to the fall in labor income inequality in Korea. We find the most important factors explaining the level of income inequality are job tenure, gender, years of education, and occupation, while those that are most important in explaining the change in income inequality are years of education, industry, occupation, and potential experience. Copyright 2000 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Fields, Gary S & Yoo, Gyeongjoon, 2000. "Falling Labor Income Inequality in Korea's Economic Growth: Patterns and Underlying Causes," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 139-159, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:46:y:2000:i:2:p:139-59

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