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The Effects of Increased Trade with China and Vietnam on Workers’ Earnings and Job Security in Korea

  • Author Kyong Hyun Koo
  • Series22-15
  • Date2022-04-15
   This study empirically demonstrates that changes in trade structure caused by the rise of China and Vietnam over the last 20 years have had a significant impact on the widening of the income and employment stability gap for Korean workers. An important policy goal for Korea, which is heavily reliant on trade, is to ensure that the benefits of trade and openness are distributed evenly to all classes of society while minimizing the harm. In order to achieve the policy goal, the analysis results of this paper show that it is necessary to institutionalize a systematic process for monitoring changes in Korea's trade structure and preparing response policies from a mid- to long-term as well as a short-term perspective. Furthermore, the results indicate that policy efforts are required to identify blind spots where existing trade adjustment assistance policies, employment insurance systems, and vocational training policies do not adequately protect or support workers, and supplement and improve them. More follow-up research is needed to gain a better understanding of the mechanism by which external trade shocks are transmitted to the domestic labor market in order to develop more effective domestic supplementary measures for trade shocks.
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