- Volume 36
In order to evaluate the effects of high unemployment rates on the income distribution and to find out mediative factors to these effect, the relationship between unemployment and income inequality in the industrialized countries and determinants of their relationship are analysized in this paper. Major findings from the analysis are these. First, changing pattern of unemployment rates are not similiar that of income inequality in the industrialized countries. This result suggests that relationships between unemployment and income inequality are dissimiliar within the industrialized countries. Second, results from analysis about relevant factors' effect on the relationship between unemployment and income inequality, the effects of economic factors such as economic growth rates and the scale of economy are not significant. But variables such as union density rates and scale of social welfare expenditure are found to have significant effects on the relationship between unemployment and income inequality. In fact, when the policy factors enters, the negative distributional effects of unemployment are lower by 50%. These results impliy that dissmilarities between the industrialized countries in the 1980s' changing patterns of income inequality are engendered from the union density rates and scale of social welfare expenditure. These findings in this paper suggest such a implication to the Korea; In order to achieve the more deserable society, policy orientations which give the priority to the economy restructuring rather than development of social welfare have to be reexamined and modified.