Inequality Factors and Trend in the Earnings of Self-Employed

자영업 근로소득의 불평등 요인과 변화

  • Ji, Eun-Jeong (Korea Labor Force Development Institute for the aged)
  • Received : 2011.12.05
  • Accepted : 2012.01.13
  • Published : 2012.05.31


Self-employment rate is high in Korean labor market, while the income gap within self-employed is also high. Although, there are very few studies that addressed on the income inequality of self-employed. Thus, this study has measured the earnings inequality of self-employed by generalized entropy indices and decomposed inequality factor and trend. The empirical study is based on Korea Welfare Panel Study wave 1~4. The main result from this analysis is summarized in three points. Firstly, earnings inequality of self-employed is severely high and the earnings polarization within self-employed has become more serious in Korea. Secondly, this study provides the evidence that the main factor of earnings inequality of self-employed is the status of self-employment, education level, age group, workplace scale and industry. Thirdly, the contribution of relative changes in the incomes of the status of self-employment is the largest to the inequality trend. In terms of education level, age group and industry, the increase of inequality within group(pure effect) mainly attributes to the rise of earnings inequality of self-employed and the change effect of group composition contributes to deterioration of inequality.