Female Employment and the Socioeconomic and Family Factors in Japan

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:49 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Junko INUI , Kyoto University, Japan
This study uses nationwide panel data to identify determinants of female employment in Japan. Almost 70% of women exit the labor market during marriage or childbirth and this figure remains high, especially among higher educated women (Cabinet Office 2006).

Reports indicate that whether married women work or not is explained by “Douglas-Arisawa’s law,” which suggests that there is a higher non-core family members’ labor force participation rate in lower core income than in higher core income households. This law’s validity has been proven using panel survey data in 1997 (Kawaguchi 2002), yet some reports currently indicate that Douglas-Arisawa’s law is collapsing, especially among married women with less than a high school education (Manabe 2004). Furthermore, Takeuchi’s (2003) study used panel data from Japanese married women aged 30 years and below and found that life events such as childbirth and child-rearing serve as restraints to employment, and that wives have not reacted to changes in their husbands’ income.

This study verifies the current validity of Douglas-Arisawa’s law and the determinants of women’s employment in Japan.

Data obtained from the National Family Research of Japan, 2008–2011 Panel Study (NFRJ-08 Panel) were used with a dependent variable having a job dummy, where having a job = 1 and not having a job = 0. The results of logistic regression analysis shows that vocational school or university graduates would probably work than high school graduates with a lower probability of wives working if their husbands’ income are higher. A short-term reduction in the husband’s income did not affect the wife’s probable employment; however, the youngest child’s age did have an effect. Results indicate little change from Takeuchi’s (2003) results and appear to maintain Douglas-Arisawa’s law.