Empirical Investigation of Declining Childbirth: Psychosocial and Economic Conditions in Japan

24 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013

See all articles by Tetsuji Yamada

Tetsuji Yamada

Rutgers University, Camden, Camden College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; NBER

Chia-Ching Chen

New York Medical College- School of Health Sciences and Practices & Institute of Public Health

Chie Hanaoka

Kyoto Sangyo University

Seiritsu Ogura

Hosei University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 5, 2013

Abstract

Background: For the past two decades, more and more women in certain European countries, Japan, and the United States are giving birth to their first child at a considerably later age than ever before. It remains unclear as to what extent this age-related general fertility decline is affected by changing social and cultural norms.

Method: The Global Centers of Excellence Survey was conducted by Osaka University in Japan (n=5313) in 2009. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of psychosocial norms, cultural differences, and economic conditions on the perception of childbearing.

Results: The findings suggest that a subjective measure of happiness has a significant influence on childbearing. A society with income inequalities between classes discourages childbearing. It is observed that women’s higher labor force participation generates a negative impact on mother-child relations which causes discouragement of childbearing. A higher female labor force participation stemmed from a transition of a traditional society into a modern and market-oriented society discourages childbearing.

Conclusions/implications: A woman’s decision to delay childbearing is based on her perception of psychosocial norms with surrounding economic environment and her own value of opportunity in the market oriented society. Childbearing also imposes psycho-economic burdens on the working population under mix of a traditional, patriarchal society, and a modern market oriented framework. Childbearing incentives could be a strategic policy to encourage positive attitudes of childbearing in general and proper welfare policy, labor law(s), employment conditions, and social security system for a working mother with a child or children.

Keywords: Childbearing, socioeconomic factors, psychosocial norms, subjective happiness

Suggested Citation

Yamada, Tetsuji and Chen, Chia-Ching and Hanaoka, Chie and Ogura, Seiritsu, Empirical Investigation of Declining Childbirth: Psychosocial and Economic Conditions in Japan (August 5, 2013). Stanford Asia Health Policy Program Working Paper No. 36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2306194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2306194

Tetsuji Yamada (Contact Author)

Rutgers University, Camden, Camden College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Camden, NJ 08102
United States

NBER

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Chia-Ching Chen

New York Medical College- School of Health Sciences and Practices & Institute of Public Health ( email )

40 Sunshine Cottage Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
United States
(914) 594-2824 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.nymc.edu/faculty/directory/by-name/chen-chia--ching/

Chie Hanaoka

Kyoto Sangyo University ( email )

Kyoto City
Japan

Seiritsu Ogura

Hosei University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tokyo
Japan

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