S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Korea Journal of Population and Development Vol.26 No.1/2 (1997)
Why Do Some Women Participate in the Labor Force While Others Stay at Home?
- Lee, Mi Jeong
- Issue Date
- Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.26 No.2, pp. 33-54
- A woman with a high level of education is expected to participate actively in the labor market, according to the supply-side explanation. Due to her high earning potential, the opportunity cost of her staying at home will be greater than in the case of a woman with a low level of education. However, this approach does not seem to work well in explaining work behaviors of Korean women in 1970. In 1970, Korea was in the initial phase of industrialization which began to provide job opportunities for women in areas other than agriculture on a large scale. But, despite the increasing job opportunities, there were few options for well educated women in the labor market. Furthermore, domestic ideology formed by Confucianism prevailed and influenced Korean women’s behaviors. Structural and ideological factors are expected to have a negative effect on the participation in the labor market among educated women. My analysis shows that education effect on women’s participation in the labor force is not significant, which is contrary to the expectation from the supply-side explanation. The insignificant effect of education seems to result from the interplay between limited opportunities for women in the labor market structure and domestic ideology in Korea in 1970.
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