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

  • Yunhee Kim
  • Jeong-Dong Lee
  • Almas Heshmati

    ()

    (Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program(TEMEP), Seoul National 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 Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP) in its series TEMEP Discussion Papers with number 200902.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision: Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:snv:dp2009:200902
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  1. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Benabou, R., 1996. "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 96-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. 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.
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  5. Inha Oh & Almas Heshmati & Chulwoo Baek & Jeong-Dong Lee, 2009. "Comparative Analysis Of Plant Dynamics By Size: Korean Manufacturing," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 512-538.
  6. 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.
  7. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," NBER Working Papers 8832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
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  11. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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