Still Facing High Barriers? the Factors Affecting Birth Experience Recognition of Female Workers in Japan

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: 304
Distributed Paper
Yuka SAKAMOTO , The Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan
Rie OKAMURA , Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan
Even though Japanese government implemented a lot of countermeasures, declining birth rate is still a serious problem in Japan. Previous research found that husband’s socioeconomic status and housework support have strong impact on fertility behavior of females both with and without work. Over the last two decades, Japanese female workers have been facing a difficult trade-off between career continuity and the first child birth. This study focuses on female workers in Japan and examines empirically the factors affecting on the recognition of birth experience.

Data used for this study were derived from a web questionnaire survey conducted in September 2013. The sample is consisted of women having husband and children (under 15 years old), who reside in the Tokyo metropolitan area. In order to correct the potential bias of the registered monitors, we adopted stratified random sampling based on job status and the age of the smallest child. The valid sample size excluding quite short time response and/or inappropriate answers was 483. The average age of these women is 40.5, 59.8% are employed and 40.2 are non-employed.

Multiple regression analyses the effects of employment and marriage cohort, family resources, socioeconomic status of themselves and the support in the workplace, upon the recognition of birth experience. Our results indicate high housework frequency of the husband decreased their first birth hesitation. On the other hand, positive recognition toward birth experience is influenced by the support in the workplace. Smooth communication with both family and workplace members also have a positive impact. These findings advance our understanding of how Japanese companies can take specific measures to improve low fertility.