ABSTRACT

Do women’s earnings emancipate women from housework? This study investigates a question by arguing that both the dominant models of the relationship between earnings and housework based on relative earnings, ‘Exchange-bargaining theory’ and ‘Gender display’, have fundamental defects. While previous studies have focused on ‘relative earnings’ and overlook the women’s ‘absolute earnings’, this study aim to comprehensively examine aspect of both sides, using Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families(KLSWF) to fill the gaps in existing research. To investigate the effect of absolute earnings and relative earnings on women’s housework, this study complies with Gupta’s model and conducts fixed effect. Unlike Gupta’s results, statistical analysis found that women’s housework is greatly affected by their earnings compared to their husbands’(relative earnings) not by their own earnings. To be specific absolute and relative earnings were statistically significant, taken together, however, effect of absolute earnings has been decreased. This is due to strong male breadwinner model and low wages of women in Korea, married women can’t reduce housework time even though their earnings rise. Nevertheless, the effect of absolute earnings was shown to be statistically significant, if wages of women rise housework time will be reduced in future. A society with low effect of women’s absolute earnings, rational bargaining with spouse based on economic resource is impossible. Therefore, interpretation on absolute and relative earnings should not be same like western society. It’s because absolute earning of married women itself is not on the level which can rational bargaining with spouse. Based on this results, a study of housework in future needs to be investigate with diverse ways beside exchange bargaining theory and gender display. Research of housework needs also longitudinal study with considering time changing.

KEYWORD

absoulte earnings, relative earnings, housework, exchange-bargaining theory, gender display, panel analysis, fixed effect

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