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Korean J Child Stud > Volume 39(4); 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Child Studies 2018;39(4): 129-138.
doi: https://doi.org/10.5723/kjcs.2018.39.4.129
한국의 아동돌봄 분배와 복지국가의 사회투자접근
국민대학교 행정학과
Gender Division of Childcare and the Social Investment Approach to Welfare State in South Korea
Mi Young An
Department of Public Administration, Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence :  Mi Young An ,Email: myan@kookmin.ac.kr
Received: July 4, 2018  Revised: August 1, 2018   Accepted: August 11, 2018

This article queries the gender division of childcare and its relation to the social investment approach taken by South Korea’s welfare state.
We conducted descriptive and regression analysis of data on married men and women aged between 20 and 64, drawn from the 2014 Korean Time Use Survey. We distinguished learning-related from physical childcare.
Wives’ share of childcare was three times larger than husbands’. Relative income exerted the most powerful influence on childcare for both. For men, the effect of income was important for physical care but had a weak influence on learning-related care. In contrast, for women, the effect of income was the most important factor in both types of childcare.
Results suggest that married women’s economic bargaining power over the division of childcare is strong in Korea. We claim that the Korean welfare state’s social investment approach has strengthened the caregiving role of women by enabling them to exert their economic bargaining power over the division of childcare. This effect might be context-specific, however, and we suggest the effect of the social investment approach on gender relations depends on the socioeconomic cultural, labor market and welfare regime context.
Key Words: childcare, gender, social investment, welfare state, Korea
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