For just over a decade between 1990 and 2003, the crude divorce rate tripled from 1.1 to 3.5 in Korea. Using the combined data from two nationally representative surveys of women conducted in 1997 and 2002, this study examines the risk factors of divorce and attempts to provide insights into the rising divorce rate in Korea. The findings show that the period effects on the probability of divorce remain unexplained after taking into account several risk factors. This may suggest societal-level transformations in normative regimes regarding divorce, which seem to have accelerated after the economic recession in the late 1990s. Independent of period effects, women's employment in white-collar occupations and declining fertility increase the risk of divorce, whereas women's unpaid work in the family business and college education lower the risk of divorce. Divorce rates are highest in the middle stage of marital duration in Korea.
Asian Population Studies