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Social Trust and Economic Development

The Case of South Korea

O. Yul Kwon

In just one generation, South Korea has transformed from a recipient of foreign aid to a member of the G20. In this informative book, South Korea is used as a case by which to explore and illustrate specific issues arising from the complex relationships between the nation’s economic development and society.
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Chapter 9: Social trust in labour and its socioeconomic effects in Korea

O. Yul Kwon


Chapter 9 investigates the causes, effects, and ways of raising trust in labour in Korea. Trust in labour is serious low in Korea, and the causes are identified in the areas of the labour market, unions, and labour relations. Trust in the labour market is low due to its poor performance, as indicated by low employment, segmentations and bipolarization in the labour market, low youth employment and high NEETs. Trust in labour unions is low due to their rent-seeking attitudes, militant and illegal industrial actions, and corruption. Trust in labour relations is low due to the hostile attitudes and inability to bring about conciliatory and win-win approaches to address labour issues. The involved issues of raising trust in labour are imbedded in society and culture. Hence, these issues can only be addressed by collaborations among the government, business, labour, education authority, and society. Specific suggestions related to each of these institutions are provided in the chapter.

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