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DIJ Forum


Marital Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance: A Viewpoint Indispensable to Mitigating Fertility Decline

14.12.2006 | 18:30

Kazuo Yamaguchi, Professor, The University of Chicago


Based on an analysis of panel data on Japanese married women, the presentation will show that: 1) wives' marital satisfaction and their confidence in their husbands' ability to provide emotional support and financial security, a major component of marital satisfaction, affect their desire to give childbirth; and 2) wives' marital satisfaction and their confidence in their husbands - though also subject to the influence of household economic conditions such as the husband's income, household assets, and husband's unemployment - are far more affected by the way in which a married couple budgets its time, such as hours spent in companionship and for conversation between husband and wife, and husband's share in childrearing. Based on the results of the analysis, the paper discusses specific measures to achieve work-life balance that enhances wives' marital satisfaction.

Dr. Yamaguchi is currently Hanna Holborn Gray Professor at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on hazard rate models for competing life events and fertility decline in Japan. In 2003, he was named by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) among the most highly-cited authors in the social sciences. His most recent publications include Class Identification of Married Employed Women and Men in America (with Y. Wang), American Journal of Sociology 198, 2003; Shoushika no kettei youin to taisaku ni tsuite: Otto no yakuwari, shokuba no yakuwari, seifu no yakuwari, shaikai no yakuwari [The Declining Fertility Rate at the Below-Replacement Level: Determinants and Countermeasures – The Roles of Husbands, Workplaces, the Government, and Society], Japanese Journal of Household Economics 66: 2005; and Rationality of Tolerance: An Insight into the Parent-Child Relationship, Rationality and Society 18, 2006

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