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Socioeconomic status and depression across Japan, Korea, and China: Exploring the impact of labor market structures

  • Nishimura, Junko
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    This study explores the effects of socioeconomic status on depression in Japan, Korea, and China, focusing on the differences in their labor market structures. Comparative studies among East Asian societies allow researchers studying depression to analyze the effects of unique institutions within each society while holding constant, to a certain extent, cultural attitudes toward mental disorders. This study uses data from National Family Research of Japan 2003, Korean National Family Survey 2003, and Family Survey of China 2006 to examine the effects of education and labor market positions on depression. The results show that the relationship between socioeconomic status and depression differs among the three societies. In Japan, the type of employment contract has a significant impact on depression, while in Korea, higher educational attainment negatively relates to depression. In China, the type of work organization has a significant impact on depression. Based on these results, two types of labor market structures, aimed at differentiating the relationship between socioeconomic status and depression, are delineated: labor markets with a secured sector, and flexible labor markets.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 604-614

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:4:p:604-614
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