Measuring discrimination in South Korea: Underestimating the prevalence of discriminatory experiences among female and less educated workers?

Seung Sup Kim, Yeonseung Chung, S. V. Subramanian, David R. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the possibility that Koreans show different patterns in reporting discriminatory experiences based on their gender and education level, we analyzed the participants who answered "Not Applicable" for the questions of discriminatory experiences that they were eligible to answer. Methods: Discriminatory experiences in eight social situations were assessed using the 7 th wave of Korean Labor and Income Panel Study. After restricting the study population to waged workers, a logistic regression model was constructed to predict the probability that an individual has experienced discrimination based on the observed covariates for each of eight situations, using the data of participants who answered either Yes or No. With the model fit, the predicted logit score of discrimination (PLSD) was obtained for participants who answered Not Applicable (NA), as well as for those who answered Yes or No. The mean PLSD of the NA group was compared with those of the Yes group and the No group after stratification by gender and education level using an ANOVA model. Results: On the questions of discrimination in getting hired and receiving income, the PLSD of the NA group was significantly higher than that of the No group and was not different from that of Yes group for female and junior high or less educated workers, suggesting that their NA responses were more likely to mean that they have experienced discrimination. For male and college or more educated workers, the NA group had a PLSD similar to that for the No group and had a significantly higher PLSD than the Yes group, implying that their NA responses would mean they that they have not experienced discrimination. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the responses of NA on the discrimination questionnaire may need different interpretation based on the respondents' gender and education level in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32872
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 12
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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