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Legitimation and Perversity: A Comparison of the Politics of Minimum Wage Reforms in Japan and South Korea

Title
Legitimation and Perversity: A Comparison of the Politics of Minimum Wage Reforms in Japan and South Korea
Authors
YunJi-WhanHeoInhye
Ewha Authors
윤지환
SCOPUS Author ID
윤지환scopus
Issue Date
2024
Journal Title
Asian Studies Review
ISSN
1035-7823JCR Link
Citation
Asian Studies Review vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 159 - 178
Keywords
Japanlegitimationminimum wagePerversitySouth Koreawage reform
Publisher
Routledge
Indexed
SSCI; AHCI; SCOPUS scopus
Document Type
Article
Abstract
There has been a scholarly consensus that the perversity rhetoric–the claim that reforms for improving social conditions will worsen the very same conditions–is a myth crafted by the political and economic elites to protect the status quo. This view explains why perversity rhetoric emerges, but it does not explain how it becomes powerful enough to change the course of reform. This study fills this gap by comparing two recent minimum wage reforms, in Japan and South Korea. It argues that the divergence between the two countries in the susceptibility of the reform process to the perversity rhetoric and reform patterns is associated with how governments legitimise the reform. Cognitive legitimation in Japan stressed the apolitical and value-free nature of the reform and allowed industry to modify it, reducing the perversity reactions; however, it made the reform too slow to redress the labour market disparities. Conversely, the moral legitimation of the reform in Korea made the initial progress fast, but the lack of an institutional governing of potential conflicts resulted in the spread of perversity rhetoric across industries and the later reversal of the reform. © 2023 Asian Studies Association of Australia.
DOI
10.1080/10357823.2023.2231627
Appears in Collections:
사회과학대학 > 정치외교학전공 > Journal papers
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