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Information economy and inequality: Wage polarization, unemployment, and occupation transition in Taiwan since 1980


  • Wang, Wei-Ching


This paper examines whether Taiwan's economic inequality has worsened as Taiwan has evolved into an information economy, a transformation which began around 1980. The paper explores this relationship by investigating three specific research questions. First, has there been a rise in wage inequality in Taiwan since 1980; and if so, what are the sources of this rise in inequality? Second, has the transition to an information economy contributed to a rise in unemployment rates? And third, what type of occupational structural transformation occurred during this transition? The paper shows that since 1980, wage inequality, unemployment, and the white-collar-blue-collar worker employment ratio have all sharply increased in Taiwan. Furthermore, the reasons for these changes seem closely related to the relative growth of the information economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Wei-Ching, 2009. "Information economy and inequality: Wage polarization, unemployment, and occupation transition in Taiwan since 1980," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 120-136, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:20:y:2009:i:2:p:120-136

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
    2. Wang, Eunice Hsiao-hui, 1999. "ICT and economic development in Taiwan: analysis of the evidence," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 235-243, April.
    3. Vere, James P, 2005. "Education, Development, and Wage Inequality: The Case of Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 711-735, April.
    4. Alice H. Amsden & Wan-wen Chu, 2003. "Beyond Late Development: Taiwan's Upgrading Policies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011980, July.
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