Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC)

Objectives and history of the survey

Progress has been made in women’s empowerment in recent decades in Japan. As a result, women’s ways of living and working and their family lifestyles are changing, but there still are several issues to be solved or improved. This survey collects various types of life-related information, from the perspective of women, with an emphasis on household economics, employment, and family relationships. The subjects of this survey are women in their mid-twenties or older who are in the process of establishing their individual lifestyles while experiencing various life events such as graduating from college, leaving, and changing jobs, getting married, becoming a mother, and getting divorced. This study closely follows life choices and their outcomes among women of several generations, with the aim to provide useful insights for discussing the working style and lifestyle of women in the future.

The survey was started by the Institute for Research on Household Economics in 1993. It is still ongoing even after a quarter of a century and is one of the longest-running nationwide panel surveys. After dissolution of the Institute for Research on Household Economics in December 2017, our center took over responsibility for conducting and managing this survey from 2018.

Figure: Five cohorts of the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC) from the first survey year

Outline of the survey

Subjects and methods

The first JPSC was conducted in 1993 with 1,500 women aged 24-34 years. Since then, it was conducted approximately every 5 years (in 1997, 2003, 2008 and 2013) with new young entries to include all ages of women. As of 2018, subjects of the 26th survey included women in a wide range of age groups (range, 29-59 years old). Survey cohorts are called Cohorts A, B, C, D and E in chronological order. Every cohort comprised approximately 125 subjects per age at the time of the first survey to obtain the specified number of subjects. We use two-stage stratified random sampling to select subjects from across Japan: the country is stratified into 8 regional blocks, and then into city classifications (special wards of Tokyo and designated cities, cities, towns and villages).

Age, populations by marital status, and the number of single-person households are to be taken into account in subject allocation. Regions used in national census surveys are used in the first stage of sampling, and approximately 10 subjects are selected by systematic sampling using the resident registries of the selected regions in the second stage. Each cohort contains actual subjects and backup subjects at the time of initial survey, to obtain the specified number of subjects, even if some actual subjects decline to participate. The number of backup subjects per actual subject varies depending on the cohort (time of sampling), but generally, 3 for a married subject, 3-4 for an unmarried subject not in a single household, and 5-7 for an unmarried subject in a single household.

There are questions about spouses to be answered if subjects are married.

Survey items

There are separate questionnaires for married and unmarried subjects. If subjects are newly married at the time of a survey, they will receive a questionnaire for a newly married person, in addition to a questionnaire for a married person.

This survey closely examines the following main topics every year, “household economics,” “employment,” and “family and life.”

  • In the “household economics” section, information is collected about the income, expenses, savings, and debt of the subjects themselves and also of their husbands and other household members.
  • In the “employment” section, information is collected about their employment status, current job (type of job, industry sector, responsibilities, working hours, etc.) of the subjects themselves and their spouses. In cases of quitting a job and/or changing jobs, detailed information is collected about the situation before and after the event(s). To those who are not currently working, survey items ask about thoughts for the future, such as intention to become re-employed.
  • In the “family and life” section, information is collected about household changes (marriage, childbirth, divorce, etc.) along with basic information about family and lifestyle (daily time allocation, leisure, etc.). This section is characterized by many questions on the subjective views and awareness of subjects (future perspectives regarding marriage, childbirth, living with parent(s), etc.).

In addition to the standard questions that will be asked every year, questions reflecting current affairs (an increase in the consumption tax, an amendment to the Civil Code, etc.) will be asked in the survey of the relevant year.

Questionnaires

Japanese version

JPSC wave Year Married Single Newly Married New Cohort・Married New Cohort・Single
Wave 21 (2013) Download Download Download Download Download
Wave 22 (2014) Download Download Download - -
Wave 23 (2015) Download Download Download - -
Wave 24 (2016) Download Download Download - -
Wave 25 (2017) Download Download Download - -
Wave 26 (2018) Download Download Download - -
Wave 27 (2019) Download Download Download - -
*Download all questionnaires including those before the 20th survey.(49.1 MB)

English version

JPSC Questionnaires

Code book

JPSC code book