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The Impact of Work-Life Balance Policies on the Time Allocation and Fertility Preference of Japanese Women

Miki Kohara and Bipasha Maity ()

Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2021, vol. 60, issue C

Abstract: We analyse the impact of work-life balance policies enacted by the government of Japan on the share of time allocated by Japanese women to paid employment, home production and leisure on a typical working day. Using panel data and employing fixed effects to control for unobserved individual heterogeneity, we find that these policies have had some success in increasing married women’s share of time spent in paid employment. However, the increase in the share of time spent in paid employment is not largely compensated by cutting down the share of time spent in home production. This necessitates the need to cut down the share of time spent for leisure, implying a “double burden” of work for women. Further, work-life balance policies in married men’s firms do not appear to significantly influence their time allocation between various activities on a typical working day. We find that although work-life balance policies do not appear to influence the desirability of having a child for all women, they help women with children younger than six years raise the share of time spent in paid employment by largely cutting down their time allocation to home production.

Keywords: Labour market policies; Paid employment; Home production; Women; Panel data; Japan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J08 J13 J16 J18 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:60:y:2021:i:c:s0889158321000137

DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2021.101134

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