Employers’ resources and experiences of employing live-in foreign domestic workers

Adam Ka Lok Cheung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Employing foreign domestic workers (FDWs) has become a common practice for outsourcing domestic labor. There has been a rapid diffusion process of the practice from the families with more resources to families with fewer resources. This study adopts an employment perspective to examine the employers’ subjective experience and the risk of replacing FDWs, and how these are related to the employing families’ economic and informational resources. Analyzing data from a representative household survey (N = 732 employer-FDW dyads) and follow-up interviews (N = 20), the results show that couples living in larger apartments and recruiting FDWs through social networks were more likely to have better subjective experience with their FDWs, while couples who grew up with FDWs in their childhood were less likely to replace FDWs. Families with fewer economic and informational resources have poorer experiences with their FDWs. This finding is important when the practice has become popularized among families with fewer resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-235
Number of pages26
JournalChinese Sociological Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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