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Care work and the demographic composition of households: two Asian cases


  • Elizabeth M. King

    (The Brookings Institution)

  • Hannah L. Randolph

    (University of Strathclyde)

  • Jooyeoun Suh

    (Seoul National University)


Who provides unpaid caregiving within the household is of economic and policy relevance. This paper examines how care activities are shared among household members, the extent to which women and men substitute for each other in care and work activities, and whether or not they realize economies of scale in care work. Mongolia and South Korea have nationally representative time-use survey data that allow an exploration of these questions. These two countries differ in their level of economic development and industrial structure, demographic profile, and household composition, providing a comparative perspective on the allocation of time to childcare, domestic work and market work within households. The maximum likelihood estimation results reveal significant evidence of substitution between men and women in childcare, but much less so in domestic work or indirect care, and economies of scale in the care of young children and in women's domestic work.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth M. King & Hannah L. Randolph & Jooyeoun Suh, 2023. "Care work and the demographic composition of households: two Asian cases," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 60(1), pages 158-190, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:phs:prejrn:v:60:y:2023:i:1:p:158-190

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    household time allocation; household composition and care work; economies of scale;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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