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Will You Work Less, Mommy? The Effect of Air Pollution on Labor Supply in South Korea

Ahram Han / Kim, Tae Jong / Gi Khan Ten / Wang, Shun

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Abstract

We investigate whether air pollution affects labor supply in South Korea. To address endogeneity in the level of local air pollution, we utilize plausibly exogenous changes in wind directions as instruments. This choice is based on the observation that air pollution in South Korea is affected by spillovers from the neighboring countries, mediated by wind directions. We find that mothers reduce working hours in response to the worsening air quality, and the impact attenuates, as children grow. Children’s vulnerability to the air pollutants and mothers’ role as the principal caregiver are the probable reason that drives the results.

Issue Date
2020-04
Publisher
KDI School of Public Policy and Management
Keywords
Air Pollution; Caregiving; Labor Supply; Particulate Matter; South Korea
Pages
32
Series Title
KDI School Working Paper 20-15
URL
http://ssrn.com/abstract=3588230
Language
ENG
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