Subjective Well-Being of Commuter Couples in South Korea: Comparisons to Dual-Earner Couples Living Together with Spouses

Yun-Suk Lee, University of Seoul

With rapid economic expansion and wives’ career aspiration, commuter marriages, a special case of dual-earner couples that wives and husbands live separately, are on the rise all over the world. But most studies focus on high-level occupation workers in developed countries. Using recent representative data in South Korea where this lifestyle are recently prevalent, this study compares the commuter and dual-earner couples in some indicators of subjective well-being. I find that commuter couples report lower levels of general satisfaction than dual-earner couples and in commuter couples, husbands suffer from lower life satisfaction than wives. Also I find that compared to dual-earner couples, husbands in commuter couples experience more stress from home life and wives in commuter couples experience more stress from work life. These findings indicate the importance of gender in the implications of living separately to the subjective well-being of commuter couples.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households