Female Labor Force Participation in Japan: An epidemiological approach using native and immigrant data

Author Name LIU Yang (Fellow, RIETI) / HAGIWARA Risa (Meikai University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2023 23-E-023
Research Project Empirical studies on issues of foreign employment and technology progress in a society with a persistent labor shortage
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This is the first study to examine Japanese female labor force participation (LFP) applying the epidemiological approach in economics (EAE), which identifies the roles of cultural and economic factors in determining economic outcomes using native and immigrant data. Although certain economic and social factors discourage women from working, we find that the probability of married female LFP of long-term immigrants is significantly higher than that of natives, controlling for human capital, family, and region of residence. The estimation results indicate that the LFP decision is significantly affected by both economic and cultural factors, that is, the social attitude toward being a housewife in the country of origin. Finally, the decomposition results show that our estimation model successfully explains 93.6% of female LFP difference between natives and long-term immigrants, with culture having the largest contribution, greater than that of the women’s own education and that of their husbands.