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Can Women Save Japan?

Author

Listed:
  • Chad Steinberg
  • Masato Nakane

Abstract

Japan's potential growth rate is steadily falling with the aging of its population. This paper explores the extent to which raising female labor participation can help slow this trend. Using a cross-country database we find that smaller families, higher female education, and lower marriage rates are associated with much of the rise in women's aggregate participation rates within countries over time, but that policies are likely increasingly important for explaining differences across countries. Raising female participation could provide an important boost to growth, but women face two hurdles in participating in the workforce in Japan. First, few working women start out in career-track positions, and second, many women drop out of the workforce following childbirth. To increase women’s attachment to work Japan should consider policies to reduce the gender gap in career positions and to provide better support for working mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Steinberg & Masato Nakane, 2012. "Can Women Save Japan?," IMF Working Papers 12/248, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/248
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Siv S. Gustafsson & Eiko Kenjoh & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels, 2002. "Postponement of Maternity and the Duration of Time Spent at Home after First Birth: Panel Data Analyses Comparing Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 59, OECD Publishing.
    2. Nawata, Kazumitsu & Ii, Masako, 2004. "Estimation of the labor participation and wage equation model of Japanese married women by the simultaneous maximum likelihood method," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-315, September.
    3. Atsuko Ueda, 2007. "A Dynamic Decision Model Of Marriage, Childbearing, And Labour Force Participation Of Women In Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 58(4), pages 443-465.
    4. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    5. Masaru Sasaki, 2002. "The Causal Effect of Family Structure on Labor Force Participation among Japanese Married Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 429-440.
    6. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    7. Daiji Kawaguchi & Ken Yamada, 2007. "The Impact Of The Minimum Wage On Female Employment In Japan," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 107-118, January.
    8. Erling Rasmussen & Jens Lind & Jelle Visser, 2004. "Divergence in Part-Time Work in New Zealand, the Netherlands and Denmark," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 637-658, December.
    9. Eiko Kenjoh, 2005. "New Mothers' Employment and Public Policy in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 5-49, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:japwor:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:45-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aoyagi, Chie & Ganelli, Giovanni, 2015. "Does revamping Japan's dual labor market matter?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 339-357.
    3. Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2015. "Work-Life Balance Practices, Performance-Related Pay, and Gender Equality in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 9379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello, 2014. "Pappa Ante Portas: The Retired Husband Syndrome in Japan," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0182, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    5. Akihito Asano & Rod Tyers, 2015. "Third Arrow Reforms and Japan’s Economic Performance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 15-17, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    6. Mojgan Samandar Ali Eshtehardi & Seyed Kamran Bagheri, 2015. "Gender Gap in Patenting Activities: Evidence from Iran," LEM Papers Series 2015/22, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Najia Saqib & Priyanka Aggarwal & Ms. Saima Rashid, 2016. "Women Empowerment and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence from Saudi Arabia," Advances in Management and Applied Economics, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 6(5), pages 1-5.

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