The `Protectiveness' of Employment Protection Legislation
Similar to labor markets in France, Spain and Japan, salary workers in South Korea are largely divided into the informal and formal sectors. Formal workers benefit from permanent contracts with insurance coverage and non-salary compensation, whereas workers with informal status have non-permanent contracts ranging from days to years and are mostly not entitled to benefits. In 2007 the Korean government implemented employment protection legislation (EPL) to improve the working conditions of informal workers, but the effectiveness of the EPL has not been sufficiently assessed. This paper applies an optimal three-state on-the-job sequential search model to estimate the transition rates of workers in informal positions to quantify the effect of the 2007 EPL on worker transitions from informal to formal work.
Screening or Human Capital Accumulation? The Role of Informal Sector in South Korean Labor Market
In countries with a dual labor market structure, analyzing the role of the informal (or contingent) sector is of great importance in shaping labor market policies. Being employed in an informal sector may provide workers chances of skill enhancement or may provide employers more information to screen workers into formal jobs. In this paper, I analyze which role is most evidently played by South Korea’s informal sector using a piecewise constant hazard model. Estimated patterns of the hazard functions indicate that informal jobs act more as a screening device for employers in transitioning a worker into the formal sector rather than human capital accumulation for employees in South Korea.
Deaths of Despair in the U.S. and Relative Income
Over the last three decades, the United States has witnessed increased death from suicide, alcohol poisoning, and drug addiction among its less-educated, non-Hispanic white population. Prior research has called this phenomenon “deaths of despair”, pointing to a diverse set of possible underlying causes from economic insecurity to trade shocks. I investigate one of these possible explanations: the relative decreased income of non-Hispanic white men compared to their peers both inside and outside the household. First, I compare changes in income across racial groups by age to account for any changes in non-Hispanic white males’ racial relative income between 2006 to 2016. I also analyze changes in their income relative to household income in order to study their within-household status during the same period. Using data at the constant public-use microdata area (CPUMA) and county level, I find that younger non-Hispanic white male population are more impacted by relative income compared to the older population. A decrease in racial and familial relative income increases deaths of despair among 25-44 year old white male Americans. Results for the older 45-64 year old population indicate that comparing income among themselves and their peers do not drive deaths of despair. Despair of older non-Hispanic white male Americans are more positively impacted by having better familial and regional economic support.