Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 211–223 | Cite as

Division of Household Labor and Marital Satisfaction in China, Japan, and Korea

  • Takashi OshioEmail author
  • Kayo Nozaki
  • Miki Kobayashi
Original Paper


In this study, we compared the association of marital satisfaction with the division of household labor in China, Japan, and Korea. Results revealed that wives’ marital satisfaction was negatively associated with their burden of housework in the three Asian countries, as generally observed in Western countries. However, there were noticeable cross-country differences. Chinese couples were relatively in favor of an egalitarian division of household labor. Japanese couples were supportive of traditional specialization, with wives flexibly shifting their efforts between work outside the house and housework. Korean couples were under pressure from conflicts between the wife’s labor force participation and the traditional division of labor. These findings underscored the importance of the socio-institutional context in the study of marital satisfaction.


Family Gender Housework Marital satisfaction 



The data for this paper were downloaded from the East Asian Social Survey Data Archive (EASSDA) after obtaining the necessary permission. The East Asian Social Survey (EASS) is based on the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS), the Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS), the Korean General Social Survey (KGSS), and the Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS), and distributed by the EASSDA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economic ResearchHitotsubashi UniversityKunitachi, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Panel Data Research CenterKeio UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of EconomicsKobe UniversityHyogoJapan

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