Discussion Papers

Does the Expectation of Having to Look after Parents in the Future Affect Current Fertility?

DP Number DP-2015-005
Language 英語のみ
Date October, 2015
Author Kei Sakata, C.R. McKenzie
JEL Classification codes J13
Keywords age care, fertility, hurdle model
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This paper argues that the expectation of having to provide care for aging parents in the
future may be a major factor contributing to the current low fertility rate in Japan.
Using data from the 1998 and 2008 National Family Research of Japan (NFRJ) surveys
and a Poisson-logit hurdle model, this paper examines whether the expectation of
having to look after parents in the future affects a couple’s current family planning. The
first stage model is a logit model which examines the decision of whether or not to have
any children, and then in the second stage a Poisson model is applied to explain the
number of children a couple has conditional on the couple having at least one child. The
empirical evidence presented suggests that there are strong generational effects, and
that for the post-war cohort, the probability of having to look after a parent increases
the probability of couples being childless.