East Asian fact of the day

by on October 29, 2016 at 1:50 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

On average, married men in the United States spend 167 minutes per day in home production, whereas Japanese husbands spend only 40 minutes and Korean husbands spend 48 minutes.

The difference holds even after adjusting for the labor market status of the man and the woman.

That is from Daiji Kawaguchi and Soohyung Lee, “Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration,” Economic Inquiry.  Here are various copies and drafts of the paper.

1 prior_test2 October 29, 2016 at 2:27 am

Which explains the need to import brides, if the abstract can be trusted. Women who are actually in a position to refuse putting up with a pig of a partner do so, forcing the need to import labor that is unable to be in position to demand better conditions.

2 Todd K October 29, 2016 at 4:36 am

More fun facts about Japan: the percentage of international marriages was 3% in 1994, rose to 6% by 2006 and was back to 3% in 2013.

Supposedly the decline in international marriages from 2006 is due to 1) tougher visa laws for women from the Philippines after 2005 and 2) a crackdown in fake marriages with Chinese women.


3 Thiago Ribeiro October 29, 2016 at 8:21 am

The spurious Japanese regime will only be able to survive through massive immigration.

4 M October 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

Is a man a “pig” if he doesn’t do many chores? I would have thought only he would be branded as a pig if he was rude and cheeky to his spouse, rather than polite, and if sexually he was promiscuous and cheated or flirted with many women.

(Black men in the UK tend to do more of a share of chores – http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-02-08-who-does-most-housework-multicultural-britain. I wonder if they are less regarded as “pigs”.)

5 Jason K. October 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

Ah, so of course it has to be men’s fault. It couldn’t be that women have sufficiently rendered themselves undesirable that men are importing women from more traditional countries? Who wants to marry a 50+ lbs overweight lazy harpy just so you can get a divorce 5 years later (because she is unhaaapy) and lose half your stuff while society cheers her on? Supply and demand goes both ways.

6 M October 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I don’t think Japanese or Korean women are commonly overweight. Probably less than the source countries for imported brides (like the Philippines).

I do think it is more likely to be a shift in female demand for men more than male demand for men. Just not in the same way as prior_test, who I think presumes men and women have stayed the same in their aspirations, but women have more bargaining power.

The social trends seem pretty clear that in the West there was an older model where young people who had not yet built much wealth got together for the sake of family and built wealth and children over time. That’s now been been replaced by a model focused on eroticism, personal charm, warmth, romanticism and intimacy between the couple and where it is presumed the man should already be financially successful and have substantial wealth before marriage. Japan and Korea are probably not too different.

Men in Japan who haven’t (or can’t) adapt to that will try to be sourcing women from other countries where the shift is less complete (and even in Japan it may be less complete than the USA). Women who aren’t successful in the recent model will do that too – marrying men from traditionalist societies (women in the West who take up the veil and marry Moslem men, for instance), but to a lesser extent I think, because the modern ideal tends to have more aspirational appeal to women (men seem less interested in romance, less demanding of romantic skill in a partner and less demanding of wealth in a partner, just much more tolerant and accepting about their partners in these aspects in general).

7 Todd Kreider October 29, 2016 at 6:56 pm

More fun facts about Japan!

The obesity rate in Japan is 3% compared to about 33% in the U.S. The downside is the pressure of women and men, by the way, to be thin, especially in their 20s and early 30s are due to …well, just about everyone – parents, friends and boyfriends/girlfriends and is sad. Still, apart from something like anorexia, being thin is much healthier than being fat.

8 Vote Trump! October 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Actually, if you look at the percentage of 40 yo Japs who are married, it’s higher than in the us. They’re just more accepting of imported brides.

9 John Thacker October 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm

They are also much less accepting of sex outside marriage. So Trump loses again.

10 Mr. Econotarian October 29, 2016 at 6:35 pm

A Chinese man (ROC) once suggested to me to find a Japanese wife…

11 Confused October 29, 2016 at 3:21 am

I would need to know what “home production” means in order to comment.

12 dearieme October 29, 2016 at 8:08 am

Oh, making jam, brewing beer, picking peaches, planting potatoes, that sort of thing I dare say. Because otherwise it’s a peculiarly poor choice of expression.

13 Thiago Ribeiro October 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

What about making butter, tanning bear skins, assembling flintlock rifles and storing vacuum sealed food for the long Winter?

14 Thor October 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I am currently tanning a hide now. It takes many hours, even days (scraping, stretching, salting, soaking, applying alum, then oiling and softening). In the meantime my wife has taken on many more of the domestic chores that we used to share. (But dammit she’ll get her hide throw.)

15 Thiago Ribeiro October 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Oh, carry on, then. Good luck.

16 oscar October 29, 2016 at 9:43 am

“I would need to know what “home production” means in order to comment.”

….no, no, no…. to be a regular team-player-commenter here…. you can’t question the premise of a given topic, especially if it’s labeled a “Fact of the Day”.

The referenced study here is obviously bogus, but asking simple logical questions about it… takes all the fun out of the discussion, apparently.

17 Cliff October 29, 2016 at 10:33 am

Huh? I’m sure the study defines the term right?

18 Troll me October 29, 2016 at 11:25 am

Anything you have to do at home.

Cooking. Cleaning. Maintenance. Child/elder care. Etc.

If you pay someone to do it, it isn’t “home production” because someone else does it.

19 M October 29, 2016 at 10:25 pm


20 So Much For Subtlety October 29, 2016 at 11:02 pm

I would guess a lot of the difference comes down to more Americans having lawns. The Japanese and South Koreans live in apartments.

On a related note, doing more house work results in men having less sex. So the Japanese better cut back on what they do do if they want their nation to survive.

21 Troll me November 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm

There’s also no macho culture where men have to prove themselves by trying to fix stuff when they don’t know what they’re doing.

22 Michael October 29, 2016 at 6:35 am

167 min sound an awful lot. Almost 3 hours per day — how realistic is that for someone with a job? Unless they slow down Earth rotation, I’m out

23 Ben October 29, 2016 at 7:57 am

If you have kids and drive them around this seems quite achievable.

24 oscar October 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

@Michael: “167 min sound an awful lot….how realistic is that..”

It’s not realistic at all. It’s total BS as presented.

It is absurd to pretend one can make detailed international population comparisons (with numbers accurate to one minute of time) on such a vague metric as “Home Production”.

25 Cliff October 29, 2016 at 10:34 am

Did you actually read it?

26 Troll me October 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

across 170 million American males, I assume there are enough data points to find an average as precise as the one minute level.

Be thankful that they did not include additional decimal places with no statistical relevance, which is a bad habit of most economists.

27 Todd Kreider October 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

Time to read up a basic science text on precision and accuracy. It is in every chemistry and physics 101 text within the first 30 pages. Sadly, few economists have ever taken a basic science course apart from Robin Hanson with his masters in physics from a top university.

28 Larry Manders October 29, 2016 at 6:46 am

“Home production” is pretty vaguely defined, indeed. If it only means cleaning and cooking and organizing and the like, then 3 hours per day per man seems ridiculous. But if it also includes “child care”, as it does in some definitions, then 3 hours makes more sense: helping with homework, watching “educational” TV together, playing video games together, etc.

29 Troll me October 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

I bet that men are a lot more likely than women to estimate watching TV with the children for an hour after work as “housework” 🙂

30 Thor October 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Indeed. The missus asks what I did with the kids when she works late, and I say: “Looked after the kids.” Often I neglect to mention that the PS4 should get some credit.

31 Melmoth October 29, 2016 at 8:45 am

Surely partly because east Asian households have no gardens or backyards, small apartments instead of houses which require maintenance and improvement, and fewer motor vehicles ( and less tradition of self repair of vehicles I would think also). Also the prevalence of household helpers il for the middle classes in most countries in SE Asia.

32 chuck martel October 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

The incredible fall in status of the American male vis-a-vis his female counterpart is made even more astonishing by its unremarked acceptance by the men themselves. Not too long ago the male role everywhere in the world didn’t include domestic service. Cooking, cleaning and child care were duties and perogatives of women while men were expected to deal with the outside world. No longer. This is an issue much more elemental than the conflicts of national ideologies. The US spent billions to prevent the spread of Russian-style socialism, ostensibly because it would unfavorably change social dynamics at home and in the rest of the world, while at the same time encouraging the development of a misguided and warped feminism that denies biology. In a way, men that have accepted and encouraged the psuedo-progressive feminist program are as great a traitors to their gender as Benedict Arnold or the Rosenbergs were to the nation.

33 Thomas Taylor October 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

“In a way, men that have accepted and encouraged the psuedo-progressive feminist program are as great a traitors to their gender as Benedict Arnold or the Rosenbergs were to the nation.”

Or the Abolitionists were to the Whites or men who don’t need to marry Super Mario are to men who married him.
“The US spent billions to prevent the spread of Russian-style socialism, ostensibly because it would unfavorably change social dynamics at home and in the rest of the world”
“Doing some chores is the same as the Gulag, foreign conquest, no free press and no free elections”, said the 8 year-old boy.

34 msgkings October 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

He’s not an 8-year old he’s a full grown Navajo.

35 Bob October 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Now the US government spends billions to spread feminism around the world. Which it has to if it wants to survive, otherwise it’d just be disarming itself and destroy itself or be conquered in the long run.

36 John Thacker October 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Not too long ago the male role everywhere in the world didn’t include domestic service.

It’s kind of odd to point to a situation that existed roughly for 100 years as an eternal norm of civilization. Go back 150 years, and a majority of the US population were farmers, where even if the exact duties were somewhat different, both groups would be engaging in “home production” and domestic service.

37 Urso October 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

REAL men spend a minimum of 12 hours a day staring at a CRT screen under fluorescent lights in service to distant overlords. Got to keep those Q3 numbers up!

38 jim jones October 29, 2016 at 9:36 am

Americans are fascinated by the tern “Asian”, if you mean Japanese then say so

39 Thiago Ribeiro October 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

Koreans, too.

40 Cliff October 29, 2016 at 10:36 am


41 The Anti-Gnostic October 29, 2016 at 11:04 am

It is used to apply to everyone from Beirut to Tokyo. About as useful as “Earthian” or “Hispanic.”

42 Brian October 29, 2016 at 11:22 am

Americans refer to people from East and Southeast Asia as Asians. Folks from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Siberia are usually not included — sometimes the latter two if they *look* like they’re from East or Southeast Asia, as is sometimes the case. You would not expect an American to call someone from Beirut an Asian.

43 Troll me October 29, 2016 at 11:50 am

Now we just call anyone from Beirut to Islamabad and beyond a terrorist, it sometimes seems.

Did you know that all humans have both female and male parts?

By the logic that under 1% of a population can be representative of that entire population, I proposed that since intersex and dual sex individuals exist at certain rates in the population, that via islamaphobic logic enables me to concludes that all men also have vaginas and all women also have penises.

Similarly, we know that all Muslims share the bloodlust, due to which we probably need to engage in a genocidal pre-emptive first strike. Because those men with vaginas all have their panties tied up in a knot freaking out about things less dangerous than slippery bathtubs, and in the meantime tacitly supporting the obliteration of the 4th, and thus the usefulness of the 1st and 2nd, amendments.

44 Jeff R. October 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

You are one strange dude.

45 Thor October 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Your “writing without hyperbole” DVD didn’t pay off, Nathan. Ask for your money back.

46 John Thacker October 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm

“East Asian” seems quite precise when referring to both Koreans and Japanese, as the paper is doing. He did not mean just Japanese.

47 ivvenalis October 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Historical evidence indicates that we used to use the term “Oriental” but it apparently was racist and so was discarded in favor of the less precise “Asian”. “East Asian” has come into vogue to distinguish Orientals/Mongoloids/Sinics from the increasingly numerous South Asians/Indians.

I don’t think anyone has casually referred to the inhabitants of the Middle East as “Asian” since about the fall of Constantinople.

48 Vote Trump! October 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

I spent two hours on home production yesterday, put some lentils on the stove and then watched tv and drank beer while i waited for them to cook.

49 prior_test2 October 29, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Make Trump great again!

50 Thiago Ribeiro October 29, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Wait a minute:
gender ration in South Korea:
What are they doing with girls between 15 and 24 years: killing them?
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

51 Will October 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Well I know boys are required to serve in the military during the same time girls can study abroad.

52 Sfoil October 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

I guarantee it has something to do with conscription. Military personnel aren’t counted or are undercounted for some reason or another.

53 Brian October 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm

There was a big fashion fad for having only boy babies in Korea around 1995. For two years the sex ratio at birth spiked because women having babies used selective abortion to stay trendy and have a boy.

Then rationality returned and the sex ratio returned to world normal levels. There’s a little spike in the demographic pyramid right around that year.

54 a Fred October 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm

We’re discussing male/female relations in Asia, without input from Ray?

He’s been awol for some days now.

Did Duterte’s death squad get him?

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