Fertility and Maternal Labor Supply in Japan: Conflicting policy goals?

Author Name Andrew S. GRIFFEN  (University of Tokyo) /NAKAMURO Makiko  (Keio University) /INUI Tomohiko  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2014 14-E-016
Research Project Analysis on Service Industries: Productivity, Economic Welfare, and Policy Evaluation
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Using panel data on Japanese mothers, this paper estimates the impact of fertility on maternal labor supply using twins as an instrument for the total number of children. We find that having twins actually has a longer term positive impact on maternal labor force participation. To understand this result, we present evidence that spacing effects and the cost of children are particularly salient in Japan and differ in important ways between twins and non-twin families of the same size. Implications for fertility and labor supply policy in Japan are discussed.