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Sex Differentials in Earnings in the South Korean Labor Market

Listed author(s):
  • Elizabeth Monk-Turner
  • Charlie Turner
Registered author(s):

    We examine gender differences in earnings among South Korean workers in 1988 - the year the South Korean National Assembly enacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. Using the "88 Occupational Wage Bargaining Survey on the Actual Condition," we calculate women's mean earnings as a percentage of men's mean earnings by major industrial category and educational attainment. We find a larger wage gap among clerical and sales workers than production workers or professionals. Generally, the more education a woman has, the smaller the gap between her earnings and those of her male counterparts. Women with a middle-school education have a mean income 53.5 percent that of comparable men, while the female-to-male wage ratio among college graduates is 76.1 percent. We analyze wage differences separately for women and men. Following Ronald Oaxaca's (1973) work, we decompose male-female wage differentials. We also calculate a discrimination coefficient. Our work shows that, all else equal, men earn from 33.6 percent to 46.9 percent more than women with comparable skills. We attribute the difference to gender discrimination.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 63-78

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:7:y:2001:i:1:p:63-78
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700010028374
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    1. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
    2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    3. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    4. Stephanie Seguino, 1997. "Gender wage inequality and export-led growth in South Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 102-132.
    5. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-58, January.
    6. Bun Song Lee & Joseph Phillips, 1997. "The Earnings Experience of Rural-Urban Migrants in Korea," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 85-101.
    7. Edward N. Wolff, 1976. "Occupational Earnings Behavior And The Inequality Of Earnings By Sex And Race In The United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 22(2), pages 151-166, 06.
    8. David Neumark & Michele McLennan, 1995. "Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 713-740.
    9. Wolff, Edward N, 1976. "Occupational Earnings Behavior and the Inequality of Earnings by Sex and Race in the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 22(2), pages 151-166, June.
    10. Morley Gunderson, 1978. "Earnings and the Sex Differential: The Influence of the Status and Sex Composition of Occupations on the Male-Female Earnings Gap," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 31(2), pages 217-226, January.
    11. Barbara Hopkins, 1997. "Argument and Community in the Markets Debate," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 113-120.
    12. Beller, Andrea H, 1982. "The Impact of Equal Opportunity Policy on Sex Differentials in Earnings and Occupations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 171-175, May.
    13. Monk-Turner, Elizabeth & Turner, Charlie G., 2000. "The relative pay of men and women in South Korea," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 223-236.
    14. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
    15. Steven Horwitz, 1995. "Feminist economics: an Austrian perspective," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 259-280.
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