Precarious Work and Marital Instability in South Korea

Sojung Lim , Utah State University
Donghyun Kim, Utah State University
Yeonjin Lee

The growth of nonstandard work in South Korea has been the subject of concern due to its precarious nature in a rigidly segmented labor market. While the rise in nonstandard employment is posited to have negative implications for family outcomes in South Korea, our understanding of the impact that nonstandard work has on marital instability is still limited. In this paper, we fill this gap by examining how nonstandard work arrangements are associated with the risk of divorce with a focus on gender differences and mechanisms. Methodologically, we use nationally representative longitudinal data (the Korean Welfare Panel Study) to estimate discrete-time hazards models. The results indicate that, for men, nonstandard employment is associated with higher likelihood of divorce. However, there are no statistical differences in the risk of divorce among women by employment type. In addition, two hypothesized mediators, income and depressive symptoms, do not explain the association of nonstandard work with the risk of divorce.

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 Presented in Session 136. Families and Work