Gender bias in branching employment sequence: a comparative study between Japan and Korea

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In this paper, we attempt a comparative study of gender structures between Japan and Korea by analyzing the branching employment sequences among females. This sequence is based on personal job histories; however, events are composed of changing patterns of the status of employment, including turnover (changing company) as well as quitting from and re-entering the labor market. For data, we use the 2005 SSM (Social Stratification and Social Mobility) Survey in Japan and in Korea. Our basic frame of reference for comparison is the ''M-shaped curve" with regard to female labor force participation, which is peculiarly salient in Japan and Korea among industrialized countries. Under this frame, by focusing on the average pattern of employment sequence, we examine the similarities and differences in the patterns between males and females, as well as between Japan and Korea. The comparison clarifies three branching patterns that are particular to Korean women. A noteworthy point is that these patterns, being different from those displayed by Japanese women, are commonly related to self-employment, thereby suggesting that a unique gender bias is prevalent in Korea. Thereafter, for the Korean married samples, we examine the effects of gender and social stratification in determining the experience of self-employment after marriage. Having a self-employed father has a positive effect and is stronger for males: on the other hand, educational attainment indicates a positive effect even for females. The result indicates that, for Korean women, self-employment is a complex field where gender bias and stratification effects are overlapping. An additional analysis suggests that the experience as "partnership self-employed"(not being a "family worker")could imply a career that is categorized as urban self-employment for female college graduates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
JournalBulletin of the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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