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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

is the oversupply of self-employment real

The weekly Hankyoreh21 questions the talk of the oversupply of self-employed and the policy blunders of the recent governments. (For an example of this kind of talk, see for example Donga Ilbo on the "mass business openings" in its recent series on the problems of small businesses. I was going to say that the Hankyoreh21 piece is defending the measures taken by the earlier Kim Dae-jung government to foster small business, but actually it's mainly response to recent remarks by the economy vice premier [the ROK habit of granting "vice premierships" to important government ministers...], that there is going to be "structural adjustments" (kujô chojông) of small businesses and subsequent difficulties (kot'ong) until the level of developed nations (sônjin'guk) is reached.

The article quotes some researchers telling that the current difficulties may as well be because of the economic downturn as because of structural oversupply of establishments. Also it'd be too early to tell whether the dichotomization within the self-employed sector between professional occupations (lawyers etc.) and the "non-professional" sector (like services) is a fundamental characteristic of the sector or a consequence of bad economy.

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