Discussion Papers

Economic and Time Constraints on Women’s Marriage, Childbirth and Employment, and Effects of Work-Life Balance Policies: Empirical Analysis Using Japanese Household Panel Surveys

DP Number DP2016-001
Language 英語のみ
Date April, 2016
Author Yoshio Higuchi, Kazuyasu Sakamoto, Risa Hagiwara
JEL Classification codes
Keywords marriage, childbirth, continued employment, reemployment
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This paper investigates the effects of economic and time constraints on women’s
marriage, childbirth, and employment. According to our analyses using household panel
surveys, we find the following. (1)Women who graduated from college and live with their
parents or their spouse’s parents have a high likelihood of marriage. Women in full-time
employment and those earning a high hourly wage tend to get married. Regular
employees whose working hours and commuting times are short tend to get married. (2)
In regard to continued employment after marriage, the husband’s income has negative
effects but the wife’s hourly wage rate has positive effects on continued female
employment. Women who can easily take childcare leave tend to continue working. (3)
The likelihood of childbirth increases with the husband’s time spent on housework and
childcare. (4) A higher husband’s income discourages the wife’s continued employment
after childbirth, but women earning a higher hourly wage rate are more likely to
continue working after giving birth. In addition, the likelihood of continued employment
after childbirth is higher among women in regular employment compared with
non-regular employment. Long working hours and long commuting times discourage
women from continuing to work after childbirth, while childcare leave and the
availability of childcare facilities have positive effects. (5) The more time the husband
spends on housework and childcare, the more likely the wife is to return to work after
childbirth, though the wife is less likely to do so when the husband’s income is higher.
Focusing on differences between birth cohorts of women, young cohorts are significantly
less likely to likely to get married but are more likely to continue working, even when
holding equal the above-mentioned economic and time constraints and support for
work-life balance. The likelihood of continued regular employment after childbirth is
high in young cohorts. However, the likelihood of continued non-regular employment is
low among non-regular employees in the young cohorts.