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Childcare availability and fertility: Evidence from municipalities in Japan

Taiyo Fukai

Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2017, vol. 43, issue C, 1-18

Abstract: In this paper, we estimated the effect of childcare availability on fertility using Japanese municipal-level Census and Vital Statistics data from 2000 to 2010, carefully handling several potential sources of bias. We found that an increase in childcare availability in Japan from 2000 to 2010 led to a small but significant increase in the fertility rate of women aged 25–39 living in regions where the propensity for women to work is high, but had no significant effect in other regions. Our results demonstrate the importance that government pay attention to regional heterogeneity when formulating childcare policy and also suggest that a combination of better access to childcare, together with other pro-family measures, is needed to support Japanese women in the early-career demands of balancing work and family.

Keywords: Childcare; Fertility; Maternal employment; Work-life balance; Aging society (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J18 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:43:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18