Work-family balance policy and fertility in Japan: the role of firms

Masaaki Mizuochi, Mie University

This study examines the effect of the work-family legislation of 2005, the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, on fertility in Japan. This Act forces firms to support their employees in bearing and rearing children. Therefore, in particular, it helps working women with children to continue their career, then it can reduce the cost of having children and boost childbirth. While the Act compels large firms to support their employees, it only recommends small and medium firms to do so. In consequence, it has greater impact on employees of large firms than on those of small and medium firms. Using this quasi-experimental condition, the effect of the Act on childbirth is confirmed by comparing the data before and after the policy implementation for employees in firms of various sizes. The difference-in-differences (DID) estimation results demonstrate that the Act has a significant positive effect on the probability of childbirth.

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Presented in Session 3: Employment, work-family balance and fertility