Child-rearing Methods and Their Effect on Performance in the Labor Market: Empirical research in Japan

Author Name NISHIMURA Kazuo (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / YAGI Tadashi (Doshisha University)
Creation Date/NO. May 2015 15-J-018
Research Project Fundamental Research for the Revival of a Vibrant Economy and Society in Japan
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Chua (2011) compared widespread parenting methods between China and Western countries, and proposed that strict child-rearing helps children succeed, which has generated heated debate among researchers. Ever since Kim (2013) denied the advantages of the "Tiger Mother" method, research on how parenting affects a child's performance has been receiving greater attention.

This study analyzed the influence of parenting methods on a child's future. We used data collected in Japan, and used the child's income (after gaining employment) as the surrogate variable.

We conducted a principal factor analysis of the responses to 16 questions on the child's relationship with his or her parents during childhood. We derived the following three factors: "interest," "sympathy," and "independence." Subsequently, we based our analysis on different levels of parenting in regards to independence, perceptions of love, and interest. We then classified child-rearing methods into five types: (1) Supportive, (2) Strict (Tiger), (3) Indulgent, (4) Easygoing, and (5) Harsh. Using these categories, we compared the average incomes of children in each of the five types, and explained how parenting methods could affect the child's performance in the labor market.