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ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.11 No.2 pp.7-16

Exploring the effects of demographic transitions in Korea on migrant worker usage

*This work was supported by the Hannam University Research Fund
**Assistant Professor, Linton School of Global Business, Hannam University, Korea. Email:

© Copyright: Korean Distribution Science Association (KODISA)
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
December 31, 2019 January 31, 2020 February 05, 2020


Purpose: This study explores how demographic transitions with workforce implications taking place in South Korea are affecting the job market, and proposes a novel conceptual model to analyze the increased role that migrant workers will play as the changes progress in the medium term. Research design, data and methodology: A qualitative approach based on the available published data is used in order to create a conceptual model that could be used to determine the order in which job sector strata will be gradually taken over by migrant workers, as the demographic transitions will create an increasing need for workforce reforms. Results: The study determines that migrant workers will replace domestic Korean workers in a stratified manner, initially in rural areas, followed by regional cities and then in the industrial areas on the edges of big cities, and the strata can be analyzed based on a proposed four-category model to determine where the opportunities will open. Conclusion: It is possible to use a conceptual model for this phenomenon. Extensive Government planning is needed to avoid possible social exclusion problems and to determine how to keep the economies of rural and regional Korean cities economically viable while they are becoming increasingly depopulated.

JEL Classification Code : E21, J14, K32.


    Hannam University




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