By Jiyeoun Song

The prior a number of many years have obvious common reform of work markets throughout complicated commercial international locations, yet many of the latest examine on activity protection, salary bargaining, and social safety is predicated at the event of the U.S. and Western Europe. In Inequality within the office, Jiyeoun tune specializes in South Korea and Japan, that have complicated hard work industry reform and faced the quick upward push of a cut up in exertions markets among safe normal staff and underprotected and underpaid nonregular employees. the 2 international locations have applied very diversified innovations in line with the strain to extend hard work marketplace flexibility in the course of fiscal downturns. jap coverage makers, tune unearths, have cozy the foundations and rules governing employment and dealing stipulations for part-time, transitority, and fixed-term agreement staff whereas maintaining huge protections for full-time everlasting staff. In Korea, in contrast, politicians have weakened employment protections for all different types of workers.

In her entire survey of the politics of work industry reform in East Asia, music argues that institutional positive aspects of the exertions marketplace form the nationwide trajectory of reform. extra particularly, she indicates how the institutional features of the employment safeguard process and commercial kinfolk, together with the scale and energy of work unions, be certain the alternative among liberalization for the nonregular crew and liberalization for all in addition to the measure of work industry inequality within the strategy of reform.

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Extra resources for Inequality in the Workplace: Labor Market Reform in Japan and Korea

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1 JAPANESE AND KOREAN LABOR MARKETS AND SOCIAL PROTECTIONS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE During the 1990s and 2000s, Japan and Korea promoted labor market reforms that differed substantially from those of other advanced industrialized countries, and despite being a somewhat similar pair of market economies in many important ways, they approached labor market reform with two different strategies and with two dissimilar sets of consequences. This chapter elaborates 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 comparison with those in other advanced industrialized countries.

They have endeavored to develop their own version of reform and to examine other advanced industrialized countries as references especially since the late 1990s, a period during which Japan’s economy recorded sluggish growth rates. In the case of labor market reform, Korea has adopted reform agendas intended to increase labor market flexibility as well as protection for outsiders far more extensively than Japan, which makes it difficult to posit the effects of policy makers’ learning of Japan’s labor market reform on Korea’s reform.

Nonetheless, the institutional arrangements of the labor market have more explanatory power with respect to the politics of labor market reform in Japan and Korea than the mechanism of learning does. Another important point to clarify is that the labor market reform discussed in this book does not apply to the foreign workforce in Japan and Korea. 19 As a result, the size of the foreign population in the two countries has increased rapidly over the past two decades, constituting around 2 percent of the population.

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