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Changing Labor Market Conditions and Economic Development in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, China


  • Fields, Gary S


In the newly industrializing economies (NIEs) of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (China), the entire working population has benefited from labor market institutions. The East Asian NIEs attained and maintained generally full employment, improved their job mixes, raised real earnings, and lowered their rates of poverty. This article reaches two principal conclusions. First, labor market conditions continued to improve in all four economies in the 1980s at rates remarkably similar to their rates of aggregate economic growth. Second, labor market repression was not a major factor in the growth experiences of these economies in the 1980s. It thus appears that labor market repression is neither necessary nor desirable for outward-oriented economic development. Copyright 1994 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Fields, Gary S, 1994. "Changing Labor Market Conditions and Economic Development in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 395-414, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:8:y:1994:i:3:p:395-414

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Manning, Chris, 2001. "The East Asian Economic Crisis and Labour Migration: A Set-Back for International Economic Integration?," Departmental Working Papers 2001-03, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Chris Manning, 2001. "Globalisation, Economic Crisis and Labour Market Policy: Lessons from East Asia," Economics Study Area Working Papers 23, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
    3. Yasuhiro Sato & Kazuhiro Yamamoto, 2007. "Trade impacts on skill formation: welfare improvements accompanied by rises in inequality," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 07-12, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    4. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Suryahadi, A. & Chen, P. & Tyers, R., 1999. "Openness, Technological Change and Labor Demand in Pre-Crisis Indonesia," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 1999-377, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    6. Nora Lustig & Darryl McLeod, 1995. "Salario mínimo y pobreza: un análisis de corte transversal para países en desarrollo," COYUNTURA SOCIAL 013219, FEDESARROLLO.
    7. Fields,Gary S., 2005. "A guide to multisector labor market models," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32547, The World Bank.
    8. Aysit Tansel, 2001. "Wage Earners, Self Employed and Gender in the Informal Sector in Turkey," Working Papers 0102, Economic Research Forum, revised 01 Nov 2001.
    9. Huang, Li-Hsuan & Huang, Julia Hsin-Yi, 2013. "Does Labor Market Rigidity Matter for Economic Performance? Evidence from the Four Asian Tigers," MPRA Paper 57905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
    11. Maloney, William F., 1999. "Self-employment and labor turnover - cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2102, The World Bank.
    12. Woo, Jaejoon, 2003. "Social polarization, industrialization, and fiscal instability: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 223-252, October.
    13. Chris Manning, 2000. "Labour Market Adjustment to Indonesia's Economic Crisis: Context, Trends and Implications," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 105-136.
    14. Graziella Bertocchi, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions, International Capital Mobility, and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 637-650, July.
    15. Ayal Kimhi, 2004. "Growth, Inequality and Labor Markets in LDCs: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 1281, CESifo Group Munich.

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