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Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Population, ISSN 0032-4663, E-ISSN 1957-7966, Vol. 68, no 3, 481-510 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study uses event history analysis to explore the relationship between women's employment and motherhood entry in the socioeconomic and institutional context of South Korea. Data used for analysis come from waves 1 to 10 of the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS) collected between 1998 and 2007. The study shows that motherhood entry declines during the study period, particularly from the 1990s onward, with marriage postponement and decline arguably contributing to this downtrend. Women who leave the labour market are more likely to become mothers than working women and women with no employment experience. Labour market withdrawal is a signal of family formation and extension. However, this practice has been challenged in recent years, and staying at work up to and during pregnancy has gained prevalence. Among wage earners, women employed in the public sector are more likely than others to become a mother, underlying the importance of employment stability for motherhood entry in Korea. The fertility behaviour of private-sector employees appears to be sensitive to changes in the business cycle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 68, no 3, 481-510 p.
Keyword [en]
motherhood entry, employment status, job characteristics, social policy, South Korea
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101028DOI: 10.3917/popu.1303.0481ISI: 000330154700003OAI: diva2:699392


Available from: 2014-02-27 Created: 2014-02-21 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Female Employment and Fertility Change in South Korea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Female Employment and Fertility Change in South Korea
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A large amount of literature has addressed the relationship between women’s employment and fertility in the Western context. We have less relevant knowledge about the context of East Asia. This thesis addresses this situation by providing insight into how women’s employment is interrelated with their fertility in South Korea. I investigate women’s life-course transitions to motherhood, labor force return after childbearing, and second childbearing, respectively. Data used for my analyses come from the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS).

My studies show that the traditional practice of leaving the labor market at an early stage of family life has gradually been replaced by a pattern of staying at work until and during pregnancy. Among wage earners, women with stable employment positions are more likely than others to become a mother. Further, women with a good labor market standing are more likely to return to the labor force immediately after childbirth without any career interruption. Still, a considerable number of women shift to homemaking after childbirth. The outbreak of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 pushed mothers to hold tighter to the labor market than before. Labor force participation after first birth depresses women’s likelihood of having a second child.

These studies suggest that a good labor market standing facilitates both motherhood entry and job continuity after childbirth in South Korea. However, the considerable number of women that shift to homemaking during motherhood and the depressed second birth rates of mothers in the labor force reveal that Korean women still face hardships when trying to combine work and family responsibilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2014. 39 p.
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 11
Female employment, fertility change, South Korea
National Category
Research subject
Sociological Demography
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103718 (URN)978-91-87235-88-7 (ISBN)978-91-87235-87-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-08-29, Lecture hall 3, B House, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-06-04 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2016-05-27Bibliographically approved

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