The Effect of Child's School Entry on Maternal Employment: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from South Korea

Jaehee Choi, Haeil Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Public school is a form of highly subsidized, universal childcare and thus an important aspect of childcare policies. We examine the impact of a child's school entry on maternal employment in South Korea where mothers have been inactive in the labour force. We utilize a natural experiment where the school-age eligibility requirement in South Korea generates an exogenous variation in the cost of childcare and lends itself to a regression discontinuity design. Our findings suggest that for women with low levels of own or spouse's education, enrolling their children in school leads to a sizeable increase in labour force participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1105
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Nam Soo Jung, Director of the Social Survey Department at Korea’s Gyeongin Regional Statistics Office, for helpful guidance at the initial stage when we were navigating for data. The authors also thank the two anonymous referees for valuable feedback and suggestions. Jaehee Choi gratefully acknowledges financial support from grant 5 T32 HD007081, Training Program in Population Studies, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Haeil Jung also gratefully acknowledges that this study has been supported by a Korea University Grant (K1701481). These funding sources had no involvement in this study and have had no influence on the results or reporting of the results.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • maternal employment
  • public school enrolment
  • regression discontinuity design
  • work–family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Child's School Entry on Maternal Employment: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this