How Do Wives and Husbands in Dual-Earner Couples in Korea Coordinate Work Hours and Childcare?

Yun Suk Lee, Yoo Jean Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined how dual-earner couples in Korea coordinate their work time to cope with childcare responsibilities and whether they employ tag-team parenting. Using the 2019 Korean Time Use Survey data, we assessed time spent in childcare and paid work among dual-earner couples with young children. OLS regression analysis was conducted separately for mothers’ and fathers’ childcare time, focusing on time spent on paid work and differences in work schedules. Mothers tend to leave for work later and head home earlier compared to fathers, presumably to take care of children. Couples worked longer separately than concurrently, and paid work time was strongly associated with one’s own and spousal time spent on childcare, supporting the desynchronization of work hours at the couple-level. Although the mother’s major responsibilities for childcare are still prevalent in Korea, couples tend to desynchronize working time with spouses so that one parent can be present with the children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Comparative Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • childcare
  • dual-earner couples
  • paid work time
  • tag-team parenting
  • work time arrangement


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