Economic pressures, career orientations, traditional family values and low fertility in east Asia : micro-level analysis in the republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan
Park, Yeon Sun.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. In the context of significant population decline in the East Asian countries of the Republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan, there is considerable interest in understanding factors associated with choices about the number of children couples have. Societal changes in women's participation in the labor market, increased education levels, and the costs of children have provided part of the explanation. However, comparatively less is known about how women's views about career and traditional gender roles relate to reductions in family size within these countries. An important guiding assumption of this study was that the patriarchal and family oriented cultures of these countries make it more difficult for women to achieve a balance between family life and work. This study investigated these issues employing data from ISSP 2005 Work Orientations III Survey; a large, nationally representative cross-sectional data set conducted in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan in 2005. I created a pooled analysis sample and used OLS regression to examine relationships between measures of career orientation and traditional family values and number of children. Control variables included economic pressure to work as well as other socioeconomic and demographic factors. The results revealed a negative association between both economic pressures and career-orientation and the number children. Contrary to expectations however, women traditional family values were associated with fewer children. Unlike patterns found in the West and Developing Countries, the results showed that on average, women in higher income households had more children than their counterparts with lower economic resources. The paper concludes with the policy recommendations for increasing fertility and improving the balance between childbearing and work.
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