KDI 정책연구. Vol. 24, No. 1, July 2002, pp. 47-112
Enhancing labor market flexibility is currently posted as one of the major economic policy objectives in Korea. However, the labor market effects of specific policies to achieve it have not been sufficiently investigated. This paper takes up the issue of employment protection deregulation and surveys and empirically analyzes its policy effects. Academic researches generally confirm that deregulation tends to promote labor turnover and employment of the disadvantaged groups such as the youth and female by raising the overall efficiency of the economy, but its effects on unemployment is not clear. In the Korean labor market, both job creation and destruction, and labor mobility have increased after the economic crisis of 1998, but they can not be seen as deregulation effects as the changes are confined to the temporary and daily employment whose labor markets are least regulated whereas the regular employment market remains virtally unchanged. Such results suggest that labor market deregulation need to be pursued consistently as a policy goal since the labor demand condition shift and the need for expanding regular employment necessitates it, for which detailed policy agenda for removing market inefficiencies should be carefully arranged.