Will You Work Less, Mommy? The Effect of Air Pollution on Labor Supply in South Korea

35 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020

See all articles by Ahram Han

Ahram Han

KDI School of Public Policy and Management - KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Students

Taejong Kim

KDI School of Public Policy and Management

Gi Khan Ten

KDI School of Public Policy and Management - KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Students

Shun Wang

KDI School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

We investigate whether air pollution affects labor supply in South Korea. To address endogeneity in the level of local air pollution, we utilize plausibly exogenous changes in wind directions as instruments. This choice is based on the observation that air pollution in South Korea is affected by spillovers from the neighboring countries, mediated by wind directions. We find that mothers reduce working hours in response to the worsening air quality, and the impact attenuates, as children grow. Children’s vulnerability to the air pollutants and mothers’ role as the principal caregiver are the probable reason that drives the results.

Suggested Citation

Han, Ahram and Kim, Taejong and Khan Ten, Gi and Wang, Shun, Will You Work Less, Mommy? The Effect of Air Pollution on Labor Supply in South Korea (April 29, 2020). KDI School of Pub Policy & Management Paper No. 20-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3588230

Ahram Han

KDI School of Public Policy and Management - KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Students ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Taejong Kim

KDI School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 184
Seoul, 130-868
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Gi Khan Ten

KDI School of Public Policy and Management - KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Students ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Shun Wang (Contact Author)

KDI School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 184
Seoul, 130-868
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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