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Adaptation under Traditional Gender Roles: Testing the Baseline Hypothesis in South Korea

Author

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  • Robert Rudolf

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Sung-Jin Kang

    (Korea University, Seoul)

Abstract

Using detailed longitudinal data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS) from 1998 to 2008, this paper analyzes gender-specific impacts as well as anticipation and adaptation to major life and labor market events. We focus on six major events: marriage, divorce, widowhood, unemployment, first job entry, and introduction of the five-day working week. While our results indicate full adaptation to some events, and even more so for women, to others we see no or only partial habituation. Yet, the results show striking gender-specific differences particularly regarding the impact of events related to marital status change. Husbands remain on a higher happiness level throughout marriage. They also suffer more from, and show less rapid or even no adaptation to widowhood and divorce. Women return to their baseline level of happiness relatively quick after marriage and divorce. Surprisingly, widowhood is not associated with negative effects for women. If anything, moderate positive effects can be found here. Husbands’ additional long-run happiness gain during marriage is equivalent to an (husband-only) increase of annual per-capita household income of approximately US$17,800. We show that the intra-marriage happiness gap between husband and wife is strongly related to the intra-couple earnings difference, providing evidence for both intra-household bargaining and the gender identity hypothesis. The studied labor market events point to a gender segregated labor market. The evidence shows that more effort is needed if Korea wants to achieve higher gender equity.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Rudolf & Sung-Jin Kang, 2011. "Adaptation under Traditional Gender Roles: Testing the Baseline Hypothesis in South Korea," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 101, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01112725, HAL.
    2. Dirk Bethmann & Robert Rudolf, 2018. "Happily ever after? Intrahousehold bargaining and the distribution of utility within marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 347-376, June.
    3. Diriwaechter, Patric & Shvartsman, Elena, 2018. "The anticipation and adaptation effects of intra- and interpersonal wage changes on job satisfaction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 116-140.
    4. repec:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-018-9406-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bauer, Jan Michael & Cords, Dario & Sellung, Rachelle & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Effects of different life events on life satisfaction in the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 91-94.
    6. Martin Berlin & Niklas Kaunitz, 2015. "Beyond Income: The Importance for Life Satisfaction of Having Access to a Cash Margin," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 1557-1573, December.
    7. Almas Heshmati & Robert Rudolf, 2014. "Income versus Consumption Inequality in Korea: Evaluating Stochastic Dominance Rankings by Various Household Attributes," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 413-436, December.
    8. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," Working Papers halshs-01112725, HAL.
    9. repec:ris:apltrx:0362 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life Satisfaction; Adaptation; Gender; Intra-marriage bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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