Revisiting the Gender Wage Gap in Korea: Focusing on Working Hours by Occupation

This paper by Nayeon Lim and Minsik Choi explores the relationship between working hours and the gender wage gap in Korea. Because the labor practice of working long hours in South Korea favors men, who tend to spend little time on domestic labor, long working hours can influence the gender wage gap by discriminating against women. Among other factors, working hours have a positive effect on the gender wage gap in male-dominated occupations, but not in female-dominated ones. Thus, working long hours could be a primary factor explaining the large gender wage gap in Korea, where most occupations are male-dominated.

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between working hours and the residual gender wage gap in Korea. Because the labor practice of working long hours in Korea favors men, who tend to spend little time on domestic labor, long working hours can influence the residual gender wage gap by discriminating against women. We analyze this discrimination empirically using data from the wage structure parts of the Survey on Labor Conditions by Employment Types from 2009 to 2016, and find the following results. First, the returns from working long hours are not high in most occupations in Korea. Thus, long working hours in Korea could influence the residual gender wage gap through channels other than high overwork premiums in a few high-paying professional occupations. Second, we find that working hours have a positive effect on the residual gender wage gap in male-dominated occupations, but not in female-dominated ones. Thus, the labor practice of working long hours could be a primary factor explaining the large gender wage gap in Korea, where most occupations are male-dominated. Therefore, policymakers should pay more attention to working hours when addressing gender discrimination in Korean labor markets.

This is an official web page
of the University of Massachusetts.

Political Economy Research Institute

Gordon Hall, 418 N. Pleasant St., Suite A

Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: 413-545-6355 Fax: 413-577-0261
Contact: