Social Norms on Working Hours, Work-Life Balance, and Fertility Choice
This paper studies the role played by the social norms of working hours in a household labor- leisure and fertility decision model. We suppose that social norms enforce workers not to deviate from the ideal level of working hours, which depends on past and current observations of working hours in workplaces. We show that the social norms lead to multiple equilibria: one with long working hours and a low fertility rate and another with short working hours and a high fertility rate. Our results may help to explain the long working hours and low fertility rate that are observed in Japan.
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