Special Collection 25

Domestic division of labour and fertility choice in East Asia

Published 15 October 2019

This Special Collection of Demographic Research – edited by Ekaterina Hertog and Man-Yee Kan – is the first to focus on the relationship between the domestic division of labour and childbearing in four East Asian countries: China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Domestic division of labour in East Asia is highly unequal and the papers in this special issue highlight the association between this inequality and the persistent very low fertility in these countries. The has been no research exploring this association in East Asia so far, and the papers in this special collection not only fill this gap in the literature but also explore related topics, like how having children impacts parental well-being. Several papers in the special collection also address potential avenues to rebalancing the domestic workload within couples. These include, but are not limited to access to paternity leave and getting help from the grandparents. Insights from these studies not only expand our knowledge about the link between domestic work and fertility into a new geographic area but also start revealing the mechanisms behind the negative association between the two and its potential consequences for families.

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