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Labor Force Participation of Older Males in Korea: 1955-2005

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  • Chulhee Lee

Abstract

This study estimates the labor force participation rate (LFPR) of older males in Korea from 1955 to 2005, and analyzes the effects of several determining factors on labor force participation decisions at older ages. The LFPR of older men increased substantially from the mid-1960s to the late-1990s. This pattern is in sharp contrast to the historical experiences of most OECD countries, where the LFPR of older males declined rapidly over the last century. The rise in the LFPR of older males in Korea between 1965 and 1995 is largely explained by the dramatic increase in the labor-market activity of the rural elderly population. The results of regression analyses suggest that the acceleration of population aging in rural areas due to the selective out-migration of younger persons was the major cause of the sharp increase in the LFPR of older males. It is likely that the relative decline of the rural economy in the course of industrialization made it increasingly difficult for the rural elderly population to save for retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Chulhee Lee, 2009. "Labor Force Participation of Older Males in Korea: 1955-2005," NBER Working Papers 14800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14800
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joonmo Cho & Sunwoong Kim, 2005. "On using mandatory retirement to reduce workforce in korea," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 283-303.
    2. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C, 1995. "Health-Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 938-948, September.
    3. Chulhee Lee, 2007. "Long-Term Changes in the Economic Activity of Older Males in Korea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 99-123.
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    6. Costa, Dora L., 1998. "The Evolution of Retirement," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226116082, June.
    7. Chulhee Lee, 2009. "Technological Changes and Employment of Older Manufacturing Workers in Early Twentieth Century America," NBER Working Papers 14746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giles, John T. & Wang, Dewen & Cai, Wei, 2011. "The Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior of China's Older Workers and Elderly in Comparative Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Chulhee Lee, 2010. "Labor-Force Participation of Older Males in Korea: 1955 to 2005," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 281-313 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chulhee Lee, 2009. "Technological Changes and Employment of Older Manufacturing Workers in Early Twentieth Century America," NBER Working Papers 14746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alexander Elu Teran, 2006. "The work of Spanish men. A quantitative analysis based on census data, 1900-1970," Working Papers in Economics 153, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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