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Changes in Korean Wage Inequality, 1980?2005

Author

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  • Kang, Byung-Goo

    () (Inha University)

  • Yun, Myeong-Su

    () (Inha University)

Abstract

Korea is known not only for rapid economic growth but also relatively low wage inequality. It is one of the few countries in which wage inequality decreased during the 1980s, though in recent years wage inequality has increased. This paper studies what factors contributed to the changes in wage inequality during the last two decades. This paper implements a recently developed Oaxaca-type inequality decomposition method to decompose "U" shaped changes in inequality into characteristics (quantity), coefficients (price) and residuals effects at both overall and detailed levels. The results of decomposition analysis show that changes in the wage structure significantly contribute to the changes in wage inequality in Korea. The coefficients effect of human capital factors has played a major role not only in increasing wage inequality from mid-1990s, but also decreasing wage inequality in 1980s and early 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3780
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
    7. Gang, Ira N. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2002. "Decomposing Inequality Change in East Germany During Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 579, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
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    12. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    13. TH Gindling & Juan Diego Trejos, 2005. "Accounting for Changing Earnings Inequality in Costa Rica, 1980-99," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 898-926.
    14. 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 139-159, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Viktor Pirmana, 2006. "Earnings Differential Between Male-Female In Indonesia: Evidence From Sakernas Data," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200608, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Aug 2006.
    2. Kim, Yunhee & Lee, Jeong-Dong & Heshmati, Almas, 2008. "Analysis of Pay Inequality and its Impacts on Growth and Performance in the Korean Manufacturing Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 3774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Randall S. Jones & Satoshi Urasawa, 2012. "Promoting Social Cohesion in Korea," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 963, OECD Publishing.
    4. Lee, Siwook, 2017. "International trade and within-sector wage inequality: The case of South Korea," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 38-47.
    5. Vladimir Hlasny, 2017. "Different Faces of Inequality across Asia: Decomposition of Income Gaps across Demographic Groups," LIS Working papers 691, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decomposition analysis of inequality; earnings equation; coefficients (price) effect; characteristics (quantity) effect; residuals effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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