Women's labor force participation in Korea: Trends in levels, patterns and differentials during 1960-1980

Park, Young Jin.  University of Pennsylvania. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1990. 9026623.

Abstract (summary)

Women's labor force participation is dependent on factors that vary from one country to another, even among regions within the country. Women's labor force participation has been studied extensively and research on women's work has increased. However, much of the research has been conducted in developed countries and still a great need remains to provide accurate information about women in developing countries.

This study examines the case of Korea, one of the developing countries, experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization. Economic growth and social change have proceeded rapidly in Korea since the early 1960s. Economic and social changes have produced a broad and extensive transformation of the society. This study examines how Korean women's labor force participation has been related to these changes in society.

The main objective of this study is to investigate the changes in levels, patterns and characteristics of women's labor force participation over years in the economic progress. Our discussion focuses on the comparison of three sets of cross-sectional data derived from the 1960, 1970 and 1980 Korean Population Census.

The gross rates of women's labor force participation show a slow upward trend. However, the employment structure and characteristics of female labor force have changed significantly, especially in urban areas.

A large part of change in women's labor force participation in rural areas is due to the big increase in the participation of rural middle and old aged wives of the agricultural households, mostly working as unpaid family workers. The change in urban women's labor force participation has been contributed by the increase in the labor force participation of young single female family members and wives aged 25-44.

The multivariate analysis shows that the variable head's occupation has the most significant impact on women's labor force participation and its effect has changed significantly over years.

This study shows the changing behavior of women toward their employment. Women are becoming more equal contributors and beneficiaries in the family. However, this study also indicates that the employment of women is dependent on the occupation of their household heads, even more significantly over years.

Indexing (details)

0938: Demographics
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences
Women's labor force participation in Korea: Trends in levels, patterns and differentials during 1960-1980
Park, Young Jin
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 51/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Miller, Ann R.
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
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