What Do We Really Know about Income Mobility in Korea?
Although many studies show that Korea’s income mobility is declining, it is difficult to draw organized information from previous studies, primarily because the mobility concept is inherently multi-faceted, and different researchers convey different meanings using the same terminology. To systemically examine the findings of previous studies and check the status of income mobility in Korea, this study categorizes the mobility concept using two dimensions: absolute vs. relative and within-generation vs. between-generations. The normative validity is clearer for intergenerational income mobility than in the intragenerational sense. In contrast, to determine whether intergenerational relative income mobility is deteriorating empirically requires further study using big data, while the decrease in intergenerational absolute income mobility and intragenerational income mobility is relatively clear.
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