Gender differences in occupational status in the South Korean labor market: 1988-1998
Charlie G. Turner
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine gender differences in occupational status among South Korean workers in 1988 and 1998. In 1988, the South Korean National Assembly enacted an Equal Employment Opportunity Act. The goal is to better understand how occupational status differs by gender between these time periods. Design/methodology/approach – Using the “88 and 98 Occupational Wage Bargaining Survey on the Actual Condition (OWS),” the paper examines occupational differences by gender and log wage using OLS. Findings – Occupational segregation by gender was more extreme in 1988 than 1998. In 1988, 83.3 percent of all female workers were employed in three broad occupational categories. Few women (5.4 percent) worked as professional, technical or administrative workers. By 1998, 11.5 percent of female workers were employed as professionals. The highest paid occupational categories, in South Korea, have the lowest percentage of female workers. Women benefit from additional educational experience, though less so than holds for men, and from being in a union (in 1988). Women are penalized, in terms of occupational status prestige, when working in large firms and when married. Practical implications – If South Korea aims to make full use of the human capital of all workers, measures need to address how women might enjoy returns on their educational investment that approach those realized by men. Further, efforts to integrate women into professional occupations categories might be examined. Originality/value – Little has been explored with regard to occupational gender differences in South Korea. This work provides a better understanding of occupational status differences by gender and how they vary across time.
Career development, Employment, Gender, Jobs, Pay, South Korea
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