Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology and Anthropology

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

So-Jung Lim (Committee Chair)


So-Jung Lim


Eric Reither


Yesola Kweon


Despite a persistent increase in South Korea’s divorce rate, our understanding of the economic determinants of divorce in South Korea is very limited. In particular, the relationship between nonstandard employment and divorce has received little attention, even though the number of nonstandard employees has rapidly increased in recent years. This paper examines the extent to which one’s employment type is associated with marital dissolution in South Korea, using nationally representative longitudinal data (the Korea Welfare Panel Study from 2007 to 2013). Results from discrete-time hazard models show that for men, the odds of divorce of nonstandard workers are estimated to be around 1.82 times the odds of standard employees. However, the risk of divorce for the self-employed is not statistically different from that of standard workers. In contrast, for women, employment type is not associated with divorce. These findings indicate that men’s employment quality and labor market status are still more important for marital stability than women’s in a context characterized by a strong male-breadwinner norm and rigid gender division of labor. This study contributes to the literature on economic determinants of marital dissolution by documenting gender differences in the relationship between various employment types and the risk of divorce in South Korea. Findings of this study will also have important implications for family policies in South Korea.



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