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Long-term effects of labor market conditions on family formation for Japanese youth


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  • Hashimoto, Yuki
  • Kondo, Ayako


This study aims to examine how each cohort’s family formation is affected by labor market conditions experienced in youth in Japan. Although the deterioration in youth employment opportunities has often been blamed for Japan’s declining fertility rate, the effect of slack labor market conditions on fertility is theoretically unclear. We estimate the effects of regional labor market conditions at entry to the labor market and contemporaneous conditions on fertility, controlling for nation-wide year effects and prefecture fixed effects, and find the following. First, high school-educated women who experienced a recession while entering the labor market are less likely to have children. In contrast, a recession rather increases fertility among college-educated women. When summed up, the aggregate impact of labor market conditions experienced in youth on fertility is weak. Second, the unemployment rate at entry to the labor market is positively correlated with the probability of having two or more children conditionally on having at least one child. Third, the contemporaneous unemployment rate is negatively correlated with marriage of women in the local labor market, although the correlation is weak and concentrated on the less educated group.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-22

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:1:p:1-22

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Keywords: Fertility; Marriage; Unemployment rate;

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  1. Yoshio Higuchi, 2001. "Women's Employment in Japan and the Timing of Marriage and Childbirth," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 156-184.
  2. Ermisch, John & Ogawa, Naohiro, 1994. "Age at Motherhood in Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 393-420, November.
  3. Ayako Kondo, 2008. "Female Labor Market Conditions and Family Formation," Discussion Papers, Columbia University, Department of Economics 0809-08, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  4. Butz, William P & Ward, Michael P, 1979. "The Emergence of Countercyclical U.S. Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 318-28, June.
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
  6. Gould, Eric D & Paserman, Marco Daniele, 2002. "Waiting for Mr Right: Rising Inequality and Declining Marriage Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions," NBER Working Papers 7510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies’ Health," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 250, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  9. Kazuyasu Sakamoto & Yukinobu Kitamura, 2006. "Sedaikan kankei kara mita kekkon kodo [in Japanese]," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University d06-198, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  10. Yuji Genda & Ayako Kondo & Souichi Ohta, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of a Recession at Labor Market Entry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  11. HIGUCHI Yoshio & MATSUURA Toshiyuki & SATO Kazuma, 2007. "Impact of Regional Factors on Births and Wives' Continuation in Employment - Panel survey of consumers by the Institute for Research on Household Economics (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese), Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) 07012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  12. Jason M. Lindo, 2010. "Are Children Really Inferior Goods? Evidence from Displacement-Driven Income Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
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Cited by:
  1. XXX, Shuya & Iwata, Shinichiro, 2012. "Fertility and the user cost of home ownership: Evidence from regional panel data," MPRA Paper 37387, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Maria Rita Testa & Stuart Basten, 2012. "Have Lifetime Fertility Intentions Declined During the “Great Recession”?," Working Papers, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna 1209, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.


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