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

  • Chulhee Lee

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14800.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Publication status: published as The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14800
Note: AG
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C, 1995. "Health-Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 938-48, September.
  5. Michael D. Hurd & Michael J. Boskin, 1981. "The Effect of Social Security on Retirement in the Early 1970s," NBER Working Papers 0659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Yukiko Abe, 2001. "Employees' Pension Benefits and the Labor Supply of Older Japanese Workers, 1980s-1990s," NBER Chapters, in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 273-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Krueger, Alan B & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1992. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 412-37, October.
  8. Boskin, Michael J, 1977. "Social Security and Retirement Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25, January.
  9. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  10. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, August.
  11. Costa, Dora L., 1998. "The Evolution of Retirement," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226116082.
  12. Michael Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1993. "The Relationship Between Job Characteristics and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 4558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2002. "Retirement and the Stock Market Bubble," NBER Working Papers 9404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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