Global Challenges and Restructuring
Edited by Gyu-Jin Hwang
Chapter 4: Labour Market Risks in De-industrializing East Asian Economies: The Cases of Korea, Japan and Taiwan
4. Labour market risks in de-industrializing East Asian economies: the cases of Korea, Japan and Taiwan Sophia Seung-yoon Lee Introduction Labour markets in advanced economies are changing and the changes are both multidimensional and revolutionary. Transitions from manufacturing to the service sector, male-dominant labour market to an increase of female workers, and from a stable employment structure to a flexible one are the three major characteristics of labour market changes in advanced economies that are prominent. Although it must be emphasized that countries are experiencing transitions by different degree and by different timing, it is empirically evident that these changes are taking place in most of the developed economies. During the past 30 years, employment in manufacturing as a share of total employment has fallen dramatically in advanced economies, a phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘de-industrialization’ (Esping-Anderson, 1993). Together with de-industrialization, some include the increase of female participation in the labour market and the increase of atypical employment under the term post-industrialization (Pierson, 2001). Not surprisingly, many scholars of the field have started to pay attention to the labour market change with concerns about its causes and implications. Parallel to the vigorous debate regarding the labour market change, notions of new risk, new risk society, new poverty or new crisis have also recently become buzzwords in many disciplines in social sciences (Huber and Stephens, 2006, Esping-Andersen, 1994, 1996, 1999; Pierson, 2001, 2006; Iversen, 2001; TaylorGooby, 2000, 2004; Hackers, 2004; Bonoli, 2007). Many regard de-industrialization as having contributed to a widening...
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