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Socioeconomic Determinants of Divorce/Separation in South Korea : A Focus on Wife’s Current and Desired Employment Characteristics

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Authors
Lee, Yean-Ju; Bumpass, Larry
Issue Date
2008-12
Publisher
Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Citation
Development and Society, Vol.37 No.2, pp. 117-139
Keywords
DivorceKoreaSocioeconomic FactorsEmployment CharacteristicsEconomic TurmoilFamily
Abstract
The crude divorce rates increased substantially in Korea since the economic turmoil in 1997. How socioeconomic factors affect the probability of marital disruption is an important question but under-researched due to the lack of appropriate data. Using data from 6 waves of the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study collected in 1998 through 2003, this study examines socioeconomic determinants of marital disruption, divorce or separation, highlighting wife’'s employment characteristics. Some findings are straightforward; long hours of working as paid employees are detrimental to marriage. Other findings reveal a complexity in the relationships between women’'s employment and marital instability. Wife’'s income may either decrease or increase marital instability, by different subgroups of employment circumstances. Also, marital problems seem to motivate wives to seek employment before the actual marital disruption. The results suggest that the relationship between married women’'s employment and divorce is contingent on other family circumstances. Lastly, husband’'s lifetime income may be more important than his current income, especially during the period of economic turmoil observed in the data.
ISSN
1598-8074
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/86712
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and Society Development and Society Vol.37 No.1/2 (2008)
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