Seminar Series

Gender Gaps in the Labor Market in Japan

Thursday, 17 March 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Zoom Webinar
  • Shintaro Yamaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, the University of Tokyo
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Japan ranked 120th among 156 countries in the gender gap rankings in 2021. Focusing on gender gaps in the labor market, I review how they evolved in the last few decades and discuss how policies can narrow the gender gaps. Although the progress may be slow, the gender gaps have been steadily narrowing in the last few decades. Indeed, prime-age women’s labor force participation rate in Japan has been higher than in the U.S. since 2015. While many factors seem to have contributed to this progress, I show empirical evidence that parental leave and childcare policies significantly increased women’s labor supply. Unfortunately, the narrowing gender gaps stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hurt women disproportionately. I argue that promoting men’s participation in childcare and household chores is the key to further narrowing the gender gap in the labor market in Japan.

About the Speaker

Shintaro Yamaguchi is a professor in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo. His research interest includes labor economics, the economics of the family, and the economics of education. He is also a co-editor of Japanese Economic Review and affiliated with CREPE and CEDEP at UTokyo and CReAM at University College London. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006.