S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.45 No.1/3 (2016)
De-industrialization and the Changes in Occupational Structure in Three East Asian Cities
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.45 No.3, pp. 439-465
- deindustrialization ; job structure ; occupational upgrading ; occupational polarization ; East Asian cities
- This paper aims to examine a pattern of recent changes in occupational structure across Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. We address the following questions; 1) considering different stages of economy in three countries, do employment structures in Seoul, Tokyo, and Shanghai show different patterns, corresponding to the economic development stage? 2) to what extent are employment structures in the three cities polarizing, or upgrading?, and 3) who fills newly created jobs? Are there any socio-demographic patterns in the distribution of employment gains? We particularly focus on the relationship between (de) industrialization and occupational transformation. The results demonstrate that deindustrialization tends to have similar polarization effects in Tokyo and Seoul, considering the decline in manufacturing workers and concomitant loss of middle income jobs. The job polarization has deepened in Tokyo due to its more mature industrial structure. Seoul has yet to reach the same level of occupational disparity, but shows a sign of polarized upgrading with strong job growth at the top of the occupational hierarchy and weak growth at the bottom. In Shanghai, newly created jobs are mainly concentrated in the mid to high income ranges, indicating the predominant upgrading in Shanghais occupational structure. We find unequal distribution of jobs in all three cities, although disadvantaged groups differ across cities. We end this paper with several concluding remarks.