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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12425-12451; doi:10.3390/su70912425

Persistence of the Gender Gap and Low Employment of Female Workers in a Stratified Labor Market: Evidence from South Korea

1
Department of Economics, Sungkyunkwan University, Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-745, Korea
2
Labor Market Analysis Center, Korea Employment Information Service, 6, Taejeong-ro, Maengdong-myeon, Eumseong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do 369-811, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Parvinder Kler
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridging the Labor Market Gender Gap: Towards a Holistic Paradigm)
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Abstract

The gender gap in working conditions has barely improved in South Korea where various measures for gender equality have been in place for a relatively long time. Furthermore, the female employment rate is also the lowest in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. This study will evaluate the stratified structure of the labor market to identify the causes and will analyze changes in the gender employment distribution and mobility. This study conducted an empirical analysis of gender distribution and labor mobility in the South Korean labor market, utilizing long-term data (2005–2014) from the supplementary survey by employment type on the Economically Active Population of the Korea National Statistical Office. From the analysis, women showed a relatively smaller increase than men in the primary labor market, classified as the large and standard employment market, in 2014 compared with 2005, but showed a relatively greater increase than men in the secondary labor market, comprising the small–medium and non-standard employment market. Thus, gender skewness in employment distribution was greater in the stratified labor market. On the other hand, the non-economically active population more than doubled for women compared to men. From the analysis of labor mobility by gender, a higher proportion of women were employed in the peripheral labor market than in the core labor market and women were also more likely to be employed in the relatively weak peripheral labor market. These results imply that dichotomous gender equality policies for resolving the gender gap have a certain limitation in the stratified labor market. Thus, what is needed is a holistic approach that takes into account the labor market structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender gap; stratified labor market; gender distribution; labor mobility gender gap; stratified labor market; gender distribution; labor mobility
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cho, J.; Lee, J. Persistence of the Gender Gap and Low Employment of Female Workers in a Stratified Labor Market: Evidence from South Korea. Sustainability 2015, 7, 12425-12451.

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