This paper argues that the expectation of future care for aging parents may be a major factor contributing to the current low fertility rate in Japan. Using data from the 1998 and 2008 National Family Research of Japan (NFRJ) surveys and a Poisson-logit hurdle model, this paper examines whether the expectation of having to look after parents in the future affects a couple’s current fertility. The first stage model is a logit model which examines the decision of whether or not to have any children, and then in the second stage a Poisson model is applied to explain the number of children a couple has conditional on the couple having at least one child. The empirical evidence presented suggests that there are strong generational effects, and that for the post-war cohort, the probability of having to look after a parent increases the probability of couples being childless. On the other hand, the older generation reacts in the opposite direction by increasing their family size.
Kei Sakata is Professor in Graduate School of Economics at Ritsumeikan University. He holds a PhD in Economics awarded from Osaka School of International Public Policy at Osaka University. His research field includes labour economics, family economics, and applied econometrics. His recent work includes Occupation, Retirement and Cognitive Functioning (2014) and Does the Definition of Retirement Matter in Estimating the Effects of Retirement on Cognitive Functioning? (2013).
The presentation will be given in English.The study group will be held as a brown bag seminar. Feel free to bring your own lunch and drinks.