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Title: Income mobility among older people in England and South Korea
Author: Um, Jin Pil
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 6834
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis adopts a longitudinal approach towards examining the income mobility of older people aged 50 and over in England and aged 45 and over in South Korea over the period between 2006 and 2012, using panel data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLoSA). This study of income mobility among older people points to pension income insecurity issues, which carry utmost significance when life expectancy and retirement duration are increasing. The comparative analysis brought insights into the ways in which different institutional settings may be responsible, and what policy reforms can be introduced to offset the adverse impact of income mobility on the wellbeing of older people. This research analysed the income mobility of older people using the unit of household equivalised disposable income and aggregate summary measures. The research also investigated the factors that significantly influence income mobility in old age at the microscopic level using multivariate analysis. The findings from the analysis of absolute income mobility suggest that older people in England show much more income stability than their Korean counterparts. From the relative income mobility analysis, older people in both countries experienced a low rate of change in their position in the income distribution over the measured period. In both countries, there was income rigidity among the high-income and low-income classes. The examination on what lies behind income mobility and the comparison of the determinants of income mobility in the two countries revealed that income growth has very little impact on aggregate mobility in England, while it is crucial for the mobility levels in Korea. Finally, the findings on the factors affecting income mobility of older people revealed that demographic characteristics, employment status, health status, educational level, and income attributes (welfare) are significantly associated with income mobility. A notable difference is that changes in living arrangements and a higher share of state benefits are associated with positive (upward) income mobility in Korea, whereas these factors are associated with downward income mobility in England. The transition into widowhood is associated with downward income mobility in England but has no significant effect in Korea. The empirical results highlight the benefits of cross-national comparative study on the income dynamics of older people, and how different contexts, welfare systems, and labour market affect the income mobility in later life. In Korea, the focus should be on finding the ways to expand social welfare services and income security policies so that the welfare state can be more responsive to income risk in old age. In contrast, means-tested income support policy in England should be investigated further in order to help middle-income class vulnerability in economic risks.
Supervisor: Vlachantoni, Athina ; Zaidi, Asghar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available