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Analysis of Pay Inequality and its Impacts on Growth and Performance in the Korean Manufacturing Industry

  • Kim, Yunhee

    (Seoul National University)

  • Lee, Jeong-Dong

    (Seoul National University)

  • Heshmati, Almas

    ()

    (Jönköping University, Sogang University)

This paper examines the relationship between pay inequality, economic growth, and performance in Korea. Pay inequality is estimated by using Theil's index to identify the factors determining the level of pay inequality, and establish its relationship with economic growth and performance. For the empirical results we use panel data on the Korean manufacturing sector for the period 1993 to 2003. It appears that a large portion of rising pay inequality can be attributed to rising relative pay among the small-sized firms, outside the capital city area and in the ICT sectors which were affected by the economic structural reform since 1997. The findings support the hypothesis of an "augmented" Kuznets Curve, according to which certain developed countries are found on an upward-sloping addendum to the original formulation of Kuznets.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3774.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3774
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  1. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb, Sciences Po.
  2. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  3. Mah, Jai S., 2006. "Economic restructuring in post-crisis Korea," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 682-690, August.
  4. Dong, Xiao-Yuan, 2005. "Wage inequality and between-firm wage dispersion in the 1990s: A comparison of rural and urban enterprises in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 664-687, December.
  5. Gregory, Gary & Harvie, Charles & Lee, Hyun-Hoon, 2002. "Korean SMEs in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Strategies, Constraints and Performance in a Global Economy," Economics Working Papers wp02-12, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  6. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  7. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  8. Postel-Vinay & Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Working Papers 155908, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  9. Kang, Byung-Goo & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2008. "Changes in Korean Wage Inequality, 1980−2005," IZA Discussion Papers 3780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  12. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, October.
  13. Benabou, R., 1996. "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 96-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F121-F149, February.
  15. Oh, Inha & Heshmati, Almas & Baek, Chulwoo & Lee, Jeong-Dong, 2006. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Dynamics by Size: Korean Manufacturing," Ratio Working Papers 94, The Ratio Institute.
  16. Fields, Gary S & Yoo, Gyeongjoon, 2000. "Falling Labor Income Inequality in Korea's Economic Growth: Patterns and Underlying Causes," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 139-59, June.
  17. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  18. Jahyeong Koo & Sherry L. Kiser, 2001. "Recovery from a financial crisis: the case of South Korea," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 24-36.
  19. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 3826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Inequalities and Their Measurement," IZA Discussion Papers 1219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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