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The Shift of Labor Market Risks in Deindustrializing Taiwan, Japan, and Korea

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

This paper has three objectives: i) to empirically examine labor market transitions in deindustrializing Asian economies; ii) to study the character of labor market risks and how these risks are shifting by gender, by education level, and by age in the transitional period; and iii) to rethink the commonly accepted assumptions that deindustrialization and globalization are the main causes of new labor market risks and, thus propose the possibility of institutional legacy as an important factor for such risk shifts. This study focuses on the labor market risks in the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Three steps are taken in this inquiry. First, this study commences by empirically examining the three labor market changes mentioned above. Second, it challenges the idea of the emergence of “new risks,” arguing instead for the concept of “risk shift”: the feature of risk shifting to different demographic groups. Lastly, with the empirical evidence already used, this paper discusses whether deindustrialization or globalization is a sufficient cause for risk shifts in deindustrializing Asian economies, proposing that institutional legacy may be an important factor in risk shift.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University Japan, Email:


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