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2016 Annual Conference

November 7–11, 2016

Albuquerque, NM

Gender differences in the role of non-formal learning in earnings: The case of South Korea

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 4:30 PM–5:15 PM Mountain Time (US & Canada)
Fiesta 4 (24)
Session Abstract
This paper examines whether there is a relationship between non-formal learning activities and earnings and how, if any, such the relationship differs by gender in South Korea (Korea, hereafter), using data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).
Target Audience
The target audience of this study would be adult education policy makers and researchers who are interested in the role of non-formal learning in earnings. Human resource development (HRD) professionals may also be interested in our paper, as results inform workplace learning strategies that can increase productivity as well as promote individual and organizational learning. Furthermore, given a growing gender diversity in Korea’s labor market, this study sheds light on effective HRD strategies that promote gender equality in earnings in Korea as well as elsewhere.
Session Description
Human capital has played a critical role in Korea’s remarkable economic growth, and companies have continued to invest in human resources by providing structured formal learning interventions. The current, drastic economic restructuring challenges this traditionally approach focusing on a formal training as a route to prosperity. In response, non-formal learning activities have increasingly become common; however, little is known about the impact of these activities on employees’ capability growth and their income. Simultaneously, despite a high level of women’s academic achievement in Korea, women in business sectors and leadership positions are still underrepresented. In order to address these issues, prior research has suggested that capability building opportunities, rather than other supports (e.g., a reward system), are critical for women to transition into managerial positions. In line with previous research, our findings indicate that while certain non-formal learning activities are associated with increased earnings for both females and males, females benefit more from their participation in non-formal learning activities, especially on-the-job training, in terms of increased earnings, compared to their male counterparts. As such, our study offers important insights into differing roles of non-formal learning activities in earnings by gender in the Korean context.

Primary Presenter

Kibum Kwon, The Penn State University

Additional Presenters: Enters In Order

Jiwon Park, The Penn State University
Soo-yong Byun, Penn State University