IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Father and Son: How unequal opportunities are in Korea?


  • Jayee Ko


  • Woojin Lee

    () (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)


The present paper proposes a method to decompose the observed socio-economic inequality into the part due to unequal opportunities and the part due to differential exercise of individual effort. The proposed method is applied to the data set constructed from the Korea Labor and Income Panel Studies for the period of 2003-2006, consisting of individuals who are male heads of household 30-55 years old. Among the many circumstance variables, which are beyond the control of individuals, we chose only one variable: father's level of education. We provide a range of estimates of the importance of this circumstance variable in accounting for education and income inequality in one of the East Asian miracle countries. Father's education is found to account for between 16 and 59 percent of education inequality, between 4 and 12% of wage inequality when the elasticity of labor supply is assumed to be equal to 0.06, and between 2 and 12% of income inequality under the same assumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayee Ko & Woojin Lee, 2010. "Father and Son: How unequal opportunities are in Korea?," Discussion Paper Series 1014, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1014

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    circumstances; effort ; equality of opportunity;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1014. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kim, Jisoo). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.