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Economic crisis and women's labor force return after childbirth: Evidence from South Korea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (English)In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 31, 511-551 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND Most research on women's labor force return after childbirth concentrates on industrialized countries in the West; the link between economic swings and mothers' work-return behavior is rarely addressed. This study closes these gaps by focusing on South Korea, a developed society in East Asia that has in recent decades witnessed increases in female labor force participation and dramatic economic ups and downs. This is the first relevant study on South Korea. OBJECTIVE This study examines how women's labor force return after childbirth (with and without career interruption) and their career prospects upon work return varied before, during, and after the Asian financial crisis in South Korea. METHODS Logistic and hazard regression models were applied to the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS waves 1-10). RESULTS The study reveals an increase in women's immediate work return after childbirth without career interruption since the 1980s. The Asian financial crisis boosted this immediate return pattern. The implementation of job-protected maternity leave further contributed to this pattern. Women who underwent career interruption at first birth were also more likely to re-enter the labor market during and after the crisis than before. Downward occupational moves were especially common during the period of financial crisis. CONCLUSIONS The results suggest that the Asian financial crisis triggered a noticeable change in women's post-birth work-return behavior. The economic volatility pushed mothers to hold onto their role in the labor force more strongly than before.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 31, 511-551 p.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107989ISI: 000341519300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107989DiVA: diva2:752962
Note

AuthorCount:1;

Available from: 2014-10-06 Created: 2014-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically 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.
Series
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 11
Keyword
Female employment, fertility change, South Korea
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

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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