Policy dissonance and the challenges of managing the impacts of South Korea's industrial and demographic transition through immigration
by Ador R. Torneo; Seung-Bum Yang
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management (IJTPM), Vol. 15, No. 1, 2015

Abstract: This paper discusses how South Korea is increasingly, albeit reluctantly, relying on immigration to address the consequences of its industrial transformation which include, among others, low birth rate, a rapidly ageing population and labour shortages. It discusses how policy dissonance, the contradictions in government policies and the realities on the ground, produces mixed results which sometimes deviate from policy intentions. Specifically, the insistence on a restrictive anti-immigration regime in the face of increasing labour demands and unwillingness of domestic workers to take up low-paying jobs result in the twin problems of persistent undocumented immigration and increasing labour shortages. Likewise, the contradicting policy orientations of liberalisation and ethnicisation are also simultaneously being adopted into policies. Unless contradictions in policy intent and policy dissonance are addressed, policies will likely keep producing mixed results.

Online publication date: Thu, 05-Mar-2015

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