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Unemployment, Nonstandard Employment, and Fertility: Insights From Japan’s “Lost 20 Years”

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  • James M. Raymo

    () (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

  • Akihisa Shibata

    (Kyoto University)

Abstract

Abstract In this study, we examine relationships of unemployment and nonstandard employment with fertility. We focus on Japan, a country characterized by a prolonged economic downturn, significant increases in both unemployment and nonstandard employment, a strong link between marriage and childbearing, and pronounced gender differences in economic roles and opportunities. Analyses of retrospective employment, marriage, and fertility data for the period 1990–2006 indicate that changing employment circumstances for men are associated with lower levels of marriage, while changes in women’s employment are associated with higher levels of marital fertility. The latter association outweighs the former, and results of counterfactual standardization analyses indicate that Japan’s total fertility rate would have been 10 % to 20 % lower than the observed rate after 1995 if aggregate- and individual-level employment conditions had remained unchanged from the 1980s. We discuss the implications of these results in light of ongoing policy efforts to promote family formation and research on temporal and regional variation in men’s and women’s roles within the family.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Raymo & Akihisa Shibata, 2017. "Unemployment, Nonstandard Employment, and Fertility: Insights From Japan’s “Lost 20 Years”," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(6), pages 2301-2329, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0614-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0614-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Vignli & Letizia Mencarini & Giammarco Alderotti, 2018. "Is the Impact of Employment Uncertainty on Fertility Intentions Channeled by Subjective Well-Being?," Working Papers 114, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    2. repec:eee:japwor:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:90-105 is not listed on IDEAS

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