Essays on Labor and Family Economics
Son, Yeon Jeong
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The first chapter of the dissertation, “Overtime Policy and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from South Korea,” examines how changes in overtime policy affect firms and workers by taking advantage of the staggered rollout of a policy under which the overtime threshold decreases from 44 to 40 hours per week. To address potential endogeneity problems, I estimate fixed-effect models that account for time-invariant firm attributes and time effects. The empirical results indicate that firms respond to the policy by reducing labor hours and increasing capital intensity. Also, the results show that the reduction of the weekly overtime standard has heterogeneous impacts on workers according to their hours worked prior to the policy change. The second chapter of the dissertation, “Do Childbirth Grants Affect Fertility Rate? Policy Impacts in South Korea,” examines the impacts of family benefits on the fertility rate in Korea. Exploiting the fact that different municipalities began providing the family benefits at different times, I apply a difference-in-differences approach. My findings include a positive effect of family benefits on total fertility rate: a 10 million Korean won per child increase in family benefits is associated with a 3.5 percent increase in total fertility rate. Moreover, I find little evidence of an anticipatory response within municipalities that adopted the family benefits policy. My findings suggest that an increase in family benefits of about 44 million Korean won per child would be required to raise the total fertility rate to a safe zone above 1.5 children per woman, where population declines are gradual and easily reversed. The third chapter of the dissertation, “Women’s Age at First Marriage and Marital Instability in the United States: Differences by Race and Ethnicity,” investigates whether the association between women’s age at first marriage and marital instability varies by race/ethnicity. Based on data from the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, differences are observed in the shape of the curve relating the probability of marriage dissolution to women’s age at first marriage. Explanations for these differences are based in part on differentials in the associations of age at first marriage with education and non-marital fertility.
SubjectOvertime policy, Family benefits, Age at marriage