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