COVID-19 and Employment in South Korea: Trends and Comparison with the 2008 Financial Crisis

44 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021

See all articles by Minhyuk Nam

Minhyuk Nam

Sogang University

Soohyung Lee

Seoul National University

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Abstract

We examine the impact of COVID-19 on employment in South Korea as of June 2020. To estimate the causal effect, we use two complementary methods. First, using individual-level data without residence information, we estimate the effects by controlling for detailed characteristics of individuals. Second, using aggregate data without individual characteristics, we exploit the regional variation in the intensity of COVID-19 to measure the effects. We find that the COVID-19 pandemic decreased the employment rate by 0.82%p and increased the unemployment rate by 0.29%p. These estimated effects are 90%–140% larger than those of the 2008 Financial Crisis.

JEL Classification: E3, J2, J6

Suggested Citation

Nam, Minhyuk and Lee, Soohyung, COVID-19 and Employment in South Korea: Trends and Comparison with the 2008 Financial Crisis. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3785065 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3785065

Minhyuk Nam (Contact Author)

Sogang University

Seoul 121-742
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Soohyung Lee

Seoul National University ( email )

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