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Soomin Ryu Awarded Fellowship to Further Research on Mothers’ Working Hours in South Korea

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Soomin Ryu

Soomin Ryu, PhD student at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, was recently awarded the 2018 Suzanne M. Bianchi Summer Graduate Student Grant from the Maryland Population Research Center. The grant will allow Ryu to complete her paper on the effects of grandparental preschool childcare on mothers’ working hours in South Korea.

“The Suzanne Bianchi Endowed MPRC Student Research Support Fund encourages me to study changing family dynamics in depth, one of my main interest fields,” Ryu says. “It’s providing me with a great opportunity to submit my paper to the Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Conference, the largest international meeting for global scientific research on demography.”

Ryu adds that submitting a paper to the PAA conference has been her goal since beginning her PhD studies at SPP. With a focus on social policy, Ryu has worked on social issues ranging from demographic transitions and fertility inequality to microfinance and women’s empowerment. 

Her current work focuses on examining married women with preschool children to look at how childcare from parents and in-laws can affect the women’s working hours in South Korea. In her study, Ryu uses an instrumental variable approach on the Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families. 

“Through the analysis, we can understand the role of informal childcare in women’s employment and suggest policy implications for better family support systems for working mothers who are juggling work and motherhood,” Ryu says.

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