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Affirmative Action and Corporate Compliance in South Korea


  • Joonmo Cho
  • Taehee Kwon


The Affirmative Action Act was introduced in South Korea in 2006 to increase female employment and correct discriminatory hiring practices. Using the combined data sets of survey and the Act's implementation plan, this paper provides logit estimation results to examine empirically how political perceptions or attitudes of firms influence corporate noncompliance with the Act. According to a corporate personnel manager survey, affirmative action was initially pursued as a campaign pledge by the liberal party (the Korea Democratic Party) to attract women's votes, and took on a looser shape as the government compromised with the business sector after an election. A weak enforcement structure ultimately diluted the effects of the Act. A logit analysis indicates that noncompliance is more probable in companies that perceive affirmative action as part of a design to achieve political goals, and compliance is more probable in companies that feel it is likely to improve corporate management.

Suggested Citation

  • Joonmo Cho & Taehee Kwon, 2010. "Affirmative Action and Corporate Compliance in South Korea," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 111-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:111-139
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701003731849

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    Cited by:

    1. Poh Lin Tan & S. Philip Morgan & Emilio Zagheni, 2016. "A Case for “Reverse One-Child” Policies in Japan and South Korea? Examining the Link Between Education Costs and Lowest-Low Fertility," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(3), pages 327-350, June.
    2. Hanna Jung & Joonmo Cho, 2016. "Quality of Jobs for Female Workers: A Comparative Study of South Korea and Australia," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 1-22, March.
    3. Cho, Joonmo & Lee, Tai & Jung, Hanna, 2014. "Glass ceiling in a stratified labor market: Evidence from Korea," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 56-70.
    4. Joonmo Cho & Jaeseong Lee & Taehee Kwon, 2013. "Gender exclusion in social security protection: evidence from Korea," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(1), pages 62-78, May.


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