Childcare Policy and Regional Employment of Japanese Female Workers
This paper conducts the evaluation of the childcare policy, “General Childcare-Support
for Model-municipalities,” which was implemented for target model regions in Japan in
the 2000s. We employ the difference-in-differences methods based on regression model
and propensity score matching, to examine changes in women’s employment and
working hours in the target model regions before and after the policy’s implementation.
The estimation results imply that there has been an increase in the non-regular
workers living in the target model regions of the policy, particularly among those
working voluntarily as non-regular employees. This tendency is especially prominent
among married women who graduated from junior/technical college, or who care for
many children under the age of six years. There is also the possibility that the program
has prompted an increase in the working hours of regular workers. However, as these
influences are not confirmed after controlling for the regional factors such as financial
index, we interpret that the effects on the employment of married women are caused not
by the designation of “model region” by the government, but rather by the active
childcare supports provided by municipalities.