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Younghwan ByunPostdoktor

Om mig

Researcher at SocPol Unit, SOFI, Stockholm University


Young-hwan earned his BA at Yonsei University, Korea, and defended his doctoral dissertation in political science at the City University of New York Graduate Center in February 2016.

Young-hwan’s doctoral research is a cross-national longitudinal study on polarization of the income distribution (the middle class declines) in 22 OECD countries for the period between 1980 and 2010. Using international income survey data from the Luxembourg Income Study, this study described the patterns of change in the income distribution across 22 OECD countries and over time. Whereas globalization theory and technological change theory that attribute middle class decline to a common development in industrialized countries, there found substantial cross-national variation in the extent of polarization (middle class declines). 

Using comparative institutional data and statistical analysis, this study assessed the explanations on why some industrialized democracies have experienced dramatic decline of middle class, whereas others have experienced much smaller decline or even expansion of middle class between 1980 and 2010. It found significant positive effects of unionization rates on the size of the middle class. It also found that types of party government have effects on the middle class decline. Secular right-wing governments are negatively associated with the middle class size. Yet, this effect is not direct, only through union effects.

Young-hwan’s post-doctoral research comprises two projects. One is Forte-funded comparative research on the relationship between tax structure (progressivity and rates) and redistributive preferences. The other is Korea Foundation-funded research on social policy development in Korea and East Asia. The latter includes a project to create East Asian Social Policy Dataset (SPEAD), following the Social Policy Indicator Database (SPIN) approach. 

Young-hwan teaches Asian Labour Markets at AKPA's comparative labor market course and East Asian Politics and Economy at Masters Program in Asian Studies, Political Science Department.