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First-Grade Shock: Women fs Work-Life Conflict in Japan


  • Tomoe Naito

    () (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)

  • Dainn Wie

    () (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)


In Japan, where the responsibility for child rearing lies mostly with women, mothers experience tighter time constraints and increased demands for parenting when their children enter elementary school. We employ unique data containing detailed information about mothers f employment and emotional distress to first examine the existence of first-grade shock, which has been recognized by the media and government. Our empirical investigation shows that the share of mothers f employment as part-time workers increases when their children are in the first grade but returns to the previous level the following year. We also show consistent evidence from women fs perceptions of work-life conflicts, equal share of housework, and emotional distress, as well as evidence regarding their concerns about their children fs lives, evidence which supports the existence of first-grade shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomoe Naito & Dainn Wie, 2018. "First-Grade Shock: Women fs Work-Life Conflict in Japan," GRIPS Discussion Papers 18-20, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:18-20

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