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The Effect of Adult Children’s Working Times on Visiting Elderly Parents: A Natural Experiment in Korea

40 Pages Posted: 16 May 2017 Last revised: 31 Jul 2017

Erin Hye-Won Kim

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Changjun Lee

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Young Kyung Do

Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Institute of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University Medical Research Center

Date Written: May 8, 2017

Abstract

Despite its significant implications, not much is known about the impact of men’s hours worked on the time they spend with their families, especially with elderly parents. Between 2004 and 2011, the Korean government reduced its legal workweek from 44 to 40 hours, implementing the policy gradually from larger to smaller establishments. Using this natural experiment, we estimate the effect of the workweeks of male full-time workers on how often they visit their elderly parents. The annual longitudinal data were drawn from the 2005 to 2014 waves of the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study. The results from two-stage least squares regressions show that longer working times do reduce the frequency of visits. We discuss the implications of men’s long working times for the well-being of the extended family in Asia, and suggest regulating working time as a potential policy instrument for improving work-family balance.

Keywords: Men’s working time, time with parents, work-family conflict, legal workweek, instrumental variable, Koreas

Suggested Citation

Kim, Erin Hye-Won and Lee, Changjun and Do, Young Kyung, The Effect of Adult Children’s Working Times on Visiting Elderly Parents: A Natural Experiment in Korea (May 8, 2017). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 17-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2964812

Erin Hye-Won Kim (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore

Changjun Lee

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore

Young Kyung Do

Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Institute of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University Medical Research Center ( email )

103 Daehak-ro Jongno-gu
Seoul, 110-799
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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