IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izapps/pp63.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Youth Unemployment in Korea: From a German and Transitional Labour Market Point of View

Author

Listed:
  • Schmid, Günther

    () (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin)

Abstract

By conventional statistics, youth unemployment seems to be quite moderate in Korea: ‘only’ 9.6 percent of the ‘active’ youth labour force was unemployed compared to 21.4 percent in EU-27 in 2011. Germany, with a youth unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, is one of the very few European countries outperforming Korea. But the Korean case is in one respect unusual. From the perspective of intergenerational risk sharing Korea’s youth unemployment rate is 4.6 times higher than the unemployment rate of adults aged 45 to 54; in Germany, this figure is only 1.7. Further peculiarities come up if unemployment is measured by the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in percent of the total youth population. Korea’s NEET figures are at the top in OECD countries, especially for youth with tertiary education. This paper throws some light to explain this conundrum: It sketches, first, the main causes of youth unemployment and the general policy interventions; because a large part of the problem is structural, possible immediate measures to avoid long-term scar effects for the unemployed youth are briefly reviewed; differences between Europe and the United States show in particular the importance of automatic stabilizers like unemployment insurance in order to reduce the pressure on unfavourable risk sharing for youth in times of recession. The main part is devoted to possible lessons for Korea from Europe, in particular from Germany. Dual education and vocational training systems that emphasise middle level and market oriented skills are identified as institutional device both for fairer intergenerational risk sharing as well as for a smoother transition from school to work. In its outlook, the paper comes back to the puzzle of highly and academically inflated youth unemployment by referring to a possible hidden cause in Korea: A strong insurance motive might explain the overall striving for an academic degree inducing not only wasteful congestion at labour market entries but also unfair job allocation through credentialism.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmid, Günther, 2013. "Youth Unemployment in Korea: From a German and Transitional Labour Market Point of View," IZA Policy Papers 63, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izapps:pp63
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/pp63.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; education; vocational training; labour market policy; transitional labour markets; risk sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:iza:izapps:pp63. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.