Care workers’ sense of responsibility, working conditions, and the quality of care in South Korea

Shirin Arslan, Arnob Alam, Maria S. Floro, Seung-Eun Cha, Eunhye Kang


As countries like South Korea expand their paid care services, ensuring quality care has become critical. Since care work involves significant emotional labor, a worker’s sense of responsibility for the care recipient's well-being affects the quality of care delivered. In this study, we explore this particular determinant of quality care that has been underexplored to better understand its nature. However, a worker's sense of responsibility or commitment level is not static and varies depending on various factors including working conditions. Using 2018 Korean childcare and eldercare survey data, we empirically examine the relationship between a worker's commitment levels and working conditions by conducting Tobit and generalized maximum entropy (GME) analyses. Results indicate that training, shorter commutes, predictable schedules, and easy interactions with the care recipient’s family are associated with higher levels of commitment. Our findings highlight the importance of supportive working conditions in promoting quality care. 

JEL classification: J13, J14, J81, D91, J28, J490


quality of care, childcare, eldercare, paid caregivers, working conditions, South Korea *

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