Abstracts & Papers in Stream 3

This paper focuses on the feature of exceptionally high rate of non-standard employment and the dualization of labour market and examines how institutions matter. How did institutions evolve during the industrial period in Korea, Japan and Taiwan and how is it affecting the labour market change in the deindustrialization period? How are deindustrialization and globalization filtered through different institutions causing different labour market risks and/or forming different dual labour markets in East Asian post-industrial countries? In sum, this study focuses on answering how institutions matter in de-industrializing East Asian economies. There are two approaches that are found to be useful in investigating the causations for this study: the historical institutional approach and the welfare production regime theory from the varieties of capitalism literature. This paper commences with a theoretical discussion on comparative historical analysis and welfare production regime. Then it conducts a comparative historical analysis on Korea, Japan and Taiwan examining how the welfare production regime, which a combination of welfare policy, industrial structure, vocational training system and labour union relations evolved during the industrial period. Next, an investigation on different kinds of segregation in labour market that are closely related to the increase of non-standard employment in each country is conducted arguing that different dualizations are in process in these de-industrializing three countries. Lastly, I link how each welfare production regime in each country are adjusting and coping with deindustrialization resulting different labour market risks and labour market segregation in each countries.


Full paper: Sophia Lee_2010_HowWPRevolve.pdf

The social assistance programme of China (dibao) or Minimum Living Standard Guarantee System (MLSG) was introduced in urban China since 1993 in Shanghai and was gradually extended to cover all Chinese urban areas in 1998. Since 2007, the system basically covered all rural areas as well. In 2009, there was 70.9 million persons (58.4 million in 2007) benefiting from di bao, or 5.3% (4.4% in 2007) of the total population. This comprised of 3.8% (the same in 2007) of the urban population and 6.7% (4.9% in 2007) of the rural population respectively.  The total expenditure was about 0.24% of the GDP in 2009 (0.15% in 2007). By the end of 2007, older people constituted about 13.1%, and adults constituted 62.9% of the recipients all over China. Like many other countries, di bao is also a gateway to some essential social services, such as housing, health care, and education, which are still inadequately provided for many low-income households. Since informal employment is very common among low-income groups in China, the sources of income are difficult to establish. Given this background, dibao is treated as an additional source of income, and gateway to social services for low-income households working in the informal sector. The incentive and opportunities to leave dibao for low-income households is limited. Shanghai is one of the most affluent regions in China, 88.7% of its population were urban citizen in 2007. A lower percentage of its residents were on dibao (2.5% comparing to 4.4% of the national figure in 2007). However, 84% of its recipients were working age adults. We have conducted a longitudinal qualitative approach to study 40 dibao families with adults of working age in a district in Shanghai. We have interviewed twice over a period of 12 months to see how they manage their employment and income and negotiate with the dibao system. The findings provided insights into the dynamics and processes of how dibao has become a gateway to essential social services and income supplement for workers in the informal employment sector.
   In the past few decades, liberalization of trade and investment is the main issue of East Asian regional politics. Recently, however, social policy has come to be seen as an essential element for the sustainable economic development of the region. APEC 2010, held in Yokohama this November, may become the first regional summit which deals seriously with social policy issues under the title of "social resilience". The concept of social resilience also includes the traditional items of social security system, such as pensions, health and unemployment insurance.
    This paper aims at exploring the characteristics of labor markets and unemployment benefits in East Asian countries. Though the phases of industrialization are different among countries in East Asia, unemployment is a new common experience since late 1990s. Still, there are many differences which should be explored comparatively. There are countries which have unemployment insurance scheme: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Also there are countries which don't have unemployment insurance scheme: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia.
    Even in countries which have unemployment insurance, it is not necessarily effective. For example, the decline of Japan's beneficiary rate is explained by increasing non-regular employment and long-term unemployment. In many countries, young workers are insured, but unemployed youth are not necessarily benefited. It is partly due to the design of the scheme. It is recommended for Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia to introduce unemployment insurance. For countries which have unemployment insurance, it is recommended to reform the scheme for covering people who really need social protection