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Ju-Ho Lee, Hyeok Jeong and Song Chang Hong

Over the last half century, Korea successfully escaped from poverty and socio-economic instability to achieve remarkable economic growth and democracy. An average Korean lived on 2.3 dollars per day in the 1950s; she now earns about 60 dollars per day. Since 1960, the Korean economy has maintained a 6 percent annual growth rate of real GDP per capita, becoming the 13th largest economy in the world (Maddison Project, 2013). This achievement is regarded as a historic case of sustainable growth. While several factors contributed to this outstanding growth, there is emerging consensus that Korea’s achievement of both sustained economic development and democracy is mainly due to its investment in people. At its initial stage of development, Korea faced problems similar to most other developing countries. To escape from a vicious cycle of poverty, Korea had to overcome a legacy of antiquated traditions in education and training. Koreans had traditionally neglected vocational and technical training, owing partly to Confucianism, which praises scholars of the humanities and farmers while disregards professions in manufacturing and trade. Because parents encouraged their children to pursue academic education in colleges and hold white-collar jobs, industries lagged behind with few technicians, skilled workers, and blue-collar workers. To make matters worse, Japanese colonial rule prohibited Koreans from accumulating both physical and human capital for entrepreneurship in industrial sectors. The three years of the Korean War with the division of the Korean peninsula also devastated the economic and social infrastructure and fundamentals for economic growth.

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Ju-Ho Lee, Hyeok Jeong and Song Chang Hong

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Susan Hayter

Industrial relations is as relevant in emerging economies as it is in developed economies. The chapter examines the institutionalization of employment relations in five emerging economies: Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Turkey. The analysis reveals patterns of continuity and discontinuity. Many features of industrial relations remain path-dependent despite significant changes in the economic and political context in each of these countries. Democratic transition and the incorporation of organized labour and employers expanded the influence of these actors on economic and social policy. However, the liberalization of product and service markets placed pressure on industrial relations institutions. The degree to which these institutions have been able to contribute to inclusive development depended on a balance of associational and institutional power. This determined their capacity to influence labour and social policy at a macro level and to regulate flexibility at the workplace. High degrees of unemployment and informal employment pose internal constraints on industrial relations institutions and limit their potential to contribute to inclusive outcomes. This is compounded by a deepening representational gap and the increasing heterogeneity among members of employers’ and workers’ organizations. Without a concerted effort to expand labour protection through institutions for labour relations to all those who work, industrial relations will continue to be eroded and constrained in its ability to contribute to inclusive development.

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Chapter 1 briefly reviews the concept of a living wage, shows that it has a long and distinguished history and has had a recent upsurge in interest and acceptance from governments, multinational companies, unions and NGOs. It is shown that there is a general consensus on its definition, and the living wage definition agreed on by the organizations that are partners in the Global Living Wage Coalition is presented. Chapter 1 discusses why a new methodology is needed to measure living wages around the world, gives an overview of the principles behind the Anker methodology for estimating a living wage, discusses the extensive experience in using the Anker methodology in living wage studies in urban and rural locations around the world, indicates why some subjectivity is not an obstacle to economic concepts, and how a living wage differs from minimum wage. This chapter points out that living wage studies are designed not only to estimate a living wage, but also to put that estimate into context as a catalyst to further action.

Open access

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

It is important to put living wage estimates into context by comparing them with other wage and economic indicators as well as indicating recent trends in real wages. Chapter 17 describes two recommended approaches to providing a contextual backdrop for a living wage estimate. One approach illustrates in a wage ladder figure the size of gaps between prevailing wages in an industry or establishment and a living wage and other wage indicators such as poverty line wages, and average wages. Recommendations for reference points to use in a wage ladder are provided, along with examples of wage ladders from previous living wage studies. The second recommended approach is to use a series of graphs to display how real wages have changed over time in local currency and in US dollars as well as compared with other economic indicators such as minimum wages and labor productivity. Examples of such graphs from previous living wage studies are provided.

Open access

Living Wages Around the World

Manual for Measurement

Richard Anker and Martha Anker

This manual describes a new methodology to measure a decent but basic standard of living in different countries and how much workers need to earn to afford this, making it possible for researchers to estimate comparable living wages around the world and determine gaps between living wages and prevailing wages, even in countries with limited secondary data.