Time at Home, Fertility Intention and Housework Change
We examine the effect of the increase in time spent at home on married individuals’ fertility intention in South Korea. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures have led to the overall increase of the time spent at home, which offers a valuable opportunity to examine its effects on fertility intention. Employing the second wave of the survey on Koreans’ values regarding marriage and family in the COVID-19 era, carried out in June 2022, we tested the relationship controlling the potential effects of the COVID-19. The analysis reveals that when time spent at home increases, individuals are more likely to give up or delay their fertility plan. A mechanism of the adverse relationship is found to be the increased housework burden. The mediating effects of the increase of the housework are observed prominently among women, dual-earning couples, and those who have one child. This study provides that the adverse effect of the increased housework burden outweighs the potential positive effects of the increase of time spent at home, giving suggestive implications for the low fertility in South Korea.
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