Job Market Paper

Effects of a National Work Hours Restriction in a High Hours Country


This paper examines the effect of a new maximum work hour restriction introduced in South Korea in 2018 that limited maximum working hours from 68 h/week to 52 h/week. I use difference-in-differences analysis with continuous treatment measuring the prevalence of those working longer than 52 h/week prior to the policy change across industry-occupation-education groups. I find that the policy reduces work hours while increasing monthly earnings and hourly wages for male full-time workers. However, I find that the policy does not significantly affect total work hours, total employment, and total worker pay at the industry-occupation-education group level.

Working Papers

Housing Wealth Effects on Household Decisions


This paper examines the effect of a positive housing wealth shock on married couples' decisions on labor supply, fertility, and education spending by exploiting regional housing price variation from 2003 to 2008 in South Korea. My difference-in-differences and triple difference estimation results show generally weaker housing wealth effects than those in literature: no housing wealth effect on labor force participation, employment, and fertility, and a net positive housing wealth effect on education spending for children. Further analysis suggests that strict regulations on Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio and Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio during the period of housing appreciation may prevent significant housing wealth effects from arising as many homeowners have little access to home equity loans under the regulations.

The Effects of Korea's High School Leveling Policy on School Choice and Labor Market Earnings


This paper analyzes the impact of the high school leveling policy on high school and college attendance and their later labor market earnings in South Korea. Since 1974, some cities have replaced the traditional high school assignment system, where students took an entrance exam to get accepted to high schools, with a lottery-based enrollment system within a school district. By using a new DiD estimation method for staggered policy adoptions, proposed by Callaway and Sant'Anna (2021), I revisit the policy impact on labor market earnings. I also investigate a potential mechanism through which the policy affected the labor market earnings: the high school tuition effect on people's high school choices. My estimation results show that the high school leveling policy increased tuition for public high schools and 4-year college attendance while there are heterogenous policy impacts on high school choices, other college outcomes, and labor market earnings across different groups of cities.