Economic Dualization in Japan and South Korea

Ito Peng

in The Age of Dualization

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199797899
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933488 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Economic Dualization in Japan and South Korea

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Labor market dualization is not unique to Europe, but rather a pervasive global phenomenon. Like some countries in Europe, Japan and South Korea have been gradually liberalizing their labor markets since the 1990s in response to increased global competition, economic crisis, and social and industrial structural changes. In both countries, significant changes have been made to employment and social welfare systems as state, employers, and labor negotiate to protect core workers while maintaining national economic competitiveness. These reforms have resulted in partial labor market flexibilization, increased economic dualization, and compensatory welfare state expansion. This chapter examines the political economy of labor market transformation in the two East Asian countries of Japan and South Korea and their implications for understanding the universal phenomenon of economic dualization in the 21st century.

Keywords: japan; south korea; labor market; dualization; flexibilization; industrial relations; welfare state; employment system; globalization; europe

Chapter.  10536 words. 

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