2004 OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2004

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Korea has recently been one of the fastest growing OECD countries, and in this report on its economy, OECD examines the key challenges Korea faces to sustain this growth.  The report carefully assesses macroeconomic policy, reform of the labour market and reform of the corporate and financial sectors. This edition’s special feature examines product market competition.

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Reforming the Labour Market

The labour market has moved near the top of the policy agenda in Korea. Although there have been profound changes following the democratisation of the country in 1987 and the financial crisis in 1997, it is clear that the current labour market framework is not appropriate, given the large and growing role of hightechnology industries and Korea’s increasing integration with the world economy. The government’s most immediate concern is sluggish job creation and the relatively high unemployment rate for young adults. The reluctance of firms to hire is linked to a lack of labour market flexibility, resulting from strict employment protection for regular workers. The strong opposition of workers ...

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