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Title: The Gendered Division of Household Labor over Parenthood Transitions: A Longitudinal Study in South Korea
Authors: Kim Hye Won Erin 
Adam Ka-Lok Cheung 
Keywords: Household labor
Parenthood transition
Gender inequality
Double burden
Issue Date: 13-Feb-2018
Citation: Kim Hye Won Erin, Adam Ka-Lok Cheung (2018-02-13). The Gendered Division of Household Labor over Parenthood Transitions: A Longitudinal Study in South Korea. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Series/Report no.: Accepted Papers;LKYSPP 18-03
Abstract: BACKGROUND Korea’s traditional family values and low rates of fertility and female labor force participation make it an interesting case for examining the dynamics between parenthood transitions, household labor, and paid work. OBJECTIVES Focusing on comparisons between first and additional children, we examine how parenthood transitions affect wives’ and husbands’ respective provisions of household labor and the division of the labor within the couple, as well as how their employment status moderates these relationships. METHODS Using the 2007, 2008, and 2010 waves of the Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families (N = 10,263 couple-waves), we estimate fixed-effects regressions. The dependent variables are the time each spouse spends on household labor and the husband’s share of the couple’s total time spent on the labor. The key independent variables are the number of children and the number interacted with each spouse’s employment status. RESULTS Household labor was gendered prior to the first birth. The child made both spouses provide more household labor; however, the increase was significantly larger for women. Women’s employment buffered the increase to a limited extent. First and additional children had comparable impacts on all outcomes. CONTRIBUTION In Korea’s gendered context, gender inequality in household labor increased further with first children, but not with additional children. The patterns persisted regardless of women’s employment status, implying that first children might increase the double burden on employed women. Policy lessons are drawn to raise fertility and female labor force participation in Korea and other East Asian countries.
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