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Inequality in the WorkplaceLabor Market Reform in Japan and Korea$
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Jiyeoun Song

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452154

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452154.001.0001

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Japanese and Korean Labor Markets and Social Protections in Comparative Perspective

Japanese and Korean Labor Markets and Social Protections in Comparative Perspective

(p.19) 1 Japanese and Korean Labor Markets and Social Protections in Comparative Perspective
Inequality in the Workplace

Jiyeoun Song

Cornell University Press

This chapter details three key institutional aspects of the labor market and social protection—employment protection, industrial relations and wage bargaining, and social protection programs—in Japan and Korea in comparative context. Well known for the institutional similarities of their national political economies, these two countries developed similar labor market arrangements. However, Japan and Korea presented different trajectories of labor market reform. Japan adopted labor market liberalization for outsiders, while retaining a high level of employment protection for insiders, which led to the strengthening of labor market inequality and dualism between insiders and outsiders. In contrast, Korea promoted labor market liberalization for all workers, targeting regular workers in the large chaebŏl sector, in exchange for the improvement of workers' basic rights to unions as well as protections for non-regular workers.

Keywords:   employment protection, industrial relations, wage bargaining, social protection, Japanese labor market, Korean labor market, labor market liberalization, labor market inequality, dualistic labor market

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