Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction in Korea: When Gender Matters

Robert Rudolf, Sung Jin Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Using detailed longitudinal data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS) from 1998 to 2008, this paper finds significant gender differences in impacts as well as adaptation patterns to major life and labor market events in Korea. Men remain on a higher happiness level throughout marriage, while women return to their baseline happiness within only two years. Consequently, men suffer more from divorce and the death of a spouse. This marital gender happiness gap is equivalent to a (husband only) increase of annual per capita household income of approximately US$17,800. The study further finds that men suffer more from unemployment. Results are robust to the inclusion of multiple simultaneous events and the use of different estimators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-163
Number of pages28
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 IAFFE.


  • Happiness
  • adaptation
  • gender gap
  • life and labor market events
  • marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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