Declining fertility and aging of society in Japan are advancing at an unprecedentedly rapid pace in comparison with other countries, with the result that the country is clearly entering an era of labor shortages. As a measure to compensate for the shortage of labor, women's entry into the labor force is being required to a greater extent than before. On the other hand it is believed by some that the increase in the female employment rate will cause the fertility rate to fall still further, and that the resultant population decline will impede economic growth in the long run. To counter that prospect, policies have been implemented to enable the fertility rate to rise and at the same time women to continue in employment, for example through the development of a system of child care leave. However, it is not yet safe to say that the results of these measures have been verified empirically. Accordingly, in our research we (1) analyze the factors behind the decline in the fertility rate, and study how great an impact institutional changes such as the introduction of the child care-leave and other such schemes has been having, and (2) analyze factors that impede the continuation of women's participation in the work force, and study what kind of institutional design is required.
Major Research Results
RIETI Discussion Papers
"Empirical Analysis of Fertility Rates - Focus on its relationship with the state of economic activity and family policy" (TODA Akihito)
"Impact of Regional Factors on Births and Wives' Continuation in Employment - Panel survey of consumers by the Institute for Research on Household Economics" (HIGUCHI Yoshio, MATSUURA Toshiyuki and SATO Kazuma)