Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women & Families-the 2017 Annual Report
Type Basic Period 2017
Manager Jae-seon Joo Date 2018-01-10
Fiie 1157_Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women & Families-the 2017 Annual Report.pdf ( 86.5 KB )

2017 KWDI Abstract


Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women & Families: the 2017 Annual Report


Jae-seon Joo

Young-ran Kim

Chi-seon Song

Jin-Young Han

Chang-kyoon Son

Chi-young Cha

Jin-sook Lee

Yeon-gyu Lim


Changes in demographic and family structures that Korean society faces have a great impact not only on women’s lives but also on the lives of all members of the society. As these changes, epitomized by “low fertility and aging society”, are taking place rapidly, understanding these changes is a prerequisite for establishing various policies, including family or welfare policies. In particular, such changes are closely interrelated with diverse areas of lives. Therefore, it is necessary to understand in sustainable and accurate manners women’s economic activity, decision-making methods and relationships in the family, social and cultural awareness and practices. This will enable the government to formulate and provide more proper policies.


Data on women’s overall lives should be built in the form of longitudinal survey according to their life cycles rather than cross-sectional survey in order to identify exactly the effects and characteristics of women’s policies. Because cross-sectional surveys cannot control the unobservable heterogeneity of changes in women’s lives, they cannot accurately estimate the impact of the variables of interest and thus have limitations when establishing and assessing women’s policies.


The Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI) has conducted the Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women & Families (KLoWF) since 2006. The KLoWF is a national panel survey to capture changes in women’s lives, family structure, and jobs in order to accurately identify women’s characteristics and build a related database. Longitudinal survey data on changes in women’s lives have already been built partially in the Korean Labor & Income Panel Survey and other surveys, but most of these surveys are limited in performing a meaningful analysis of women’s sub-groups because they either failed to consider gender characteristics or lacked the number of women’s cases. Furthermore, the surveys have difficulty providing multi-faceted and comprehensive information on changes in women’s lives because they are not equipped with optimized survey tools to analyze women’s complicated lives.


The Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women & Families has been conducted to overcome the limitations of previous longitudinal surveys. The KLoWF is designed to attain the following goals. The first goal is to identify the actual conditions of women’s increased economic activity and family-work reconciliation. The second goal is to examine empirically the living world of women and to predict the present and the future of families in Korean society. The third goal is to provide rudimentary data throughout the overall process of policy-making on women and families by tracking a broad range of changes in important current social issues of Korean society, including low fertility, aging, child care, work-family reconciliation, and family-friendly social environment. Beginning its first-wave survey of 9,997 women between full ages 19 and 64 in 9,068 households in 2007, the KLoWF conducted its second-wave survey in 2008, the third-wave survey in 2010, the fourth-wave survey in 2012, fifth-wave survey in 2014, and completed the sixth-wave survey as of 2017. Also, by adding a new panel of 2,049 households in the sixth-wave survey, the KLoWF secured cross-sectional representation of the panel and prepared for panel retention and management for the coming decade as well.


Based on its necessity, the 2017 research was conducted to achieve policy goals and promote the usage of research. Main contents of the research include: first, it completed an actual inspection of the sixth-wave main survey (second round) and additional surveys, and analyzed basic characteristics of the sixth-wave panel. Second, it carried out various in-depth studies to develop women’s policies by holding academic symposiums for experts regarding the first- to sixth-wave survey data. The in-depth studies addressed three recent issues, including “analysis of transition in unemployed women’s working form and its determinants”, “characteristics of married transition groups and changes in values on marriage”, and “Korean women’s environmental impact factors: analysis of the secondary data of the KLoWF.” Third, it added a new panel to improve representation and quality of the panel. Fourth, it conducted interim fieldwork for panel management and preparation of the seventh-wave survey scheduled in 2018. Fifth, it aligned the first to sixth wave data structures with one another to raise the convenience of data users and created various data sets. Sixth, it implemented major projects, including the publication of the KLoWF Brief, a bi-annual journal, to publicize characteristics of the KLoWF, the operation of home pages in Korean and English, and the holding of panel forums.