Project Description

East Asia is home to some of the most demographically important countries in the world. China has the largest population and is characterized by extremely low fertility, rapid population aging, massive internal migration, rapid economic growth, and high levels of inequality. Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are all highly industrialized countries at the forefront of global trends toward very low fertility and rapid population aging. Japan is the world’s oldest country and a place that we might refer to as a “laboratory of the future” as other countries look to Japan to understand the implications of unprecedented population aging.

A number of highly-skilled young social scientists are conducting important and innovative research, but this research often fails to travel beyond national borders. Therefore, the UTokyo x Princeton Demography & Inequality in East Asia Project aims to build a world hub for research on demography and inequality in East Asia that (1) fosters collaborative research among demographers and inequality scholars working on East Asia; (2) supports the training of next generation scholars; and (3) mentors advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in East Asian demography and inequality at the University of Tokyo and Princeton University.

This project builds on an ongoing initiative at the Princeton University Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China: Research on East Asian Demography & Inequality

Past Events

March 17, 2021 @ 9:00am – 10:30am

UTokyo x Princeton Demography & Inequality in East Asia Conference: Why is it Important to Discuss Demography and Inequality in East Asia?

2020 July 14

Professor James Raymo, Princeton University "Employment trajectories, divorce, and women's economic well-being in Japan"

2020 August 11

Professor Hiroshi Ishida, University of Tokyo "Trends in Intergenerational Mobility and the OED Triangle in Japan"

2020 October 13

Professor Mary C. Brinton, Harvard University "What's the Use? Low Fertility and Fathers' Use of Childcare Leave in Japan."

Project Board Members

Hiroshi Ishida University Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo

Hiroshi Ishida is University Professor at the University of Tokyo. He served as the Director of the Institute of Social Science and the Director of the Center of Social Research and Data Archives at the University of Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and held academic appointments at the University of Oxford, Columbia University and the University of Michigan. Ishida’s research interests include comparative social stratification and mobility, school-to-work transition, family formation, and social inequality over the life course. He currently directs the Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys and examines how social inequality is generated and reproduced over the life course.

James Raymo Professor of Sociology and Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University

Jim Raymo is professor of sociology and the Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Raymo is a demographer engaged in documenting and understanding the causes and consequences of demographic changes associated with low fertility and population aging in Japan. His published research includes analyses of marriage timing, divorce, recession and fertility, marriage and women’s health, single mothers’ well-being, living alone, employment and health at older ages, and regional differences in health at older ages. His current research focuses on children’s well-being, cohabitation and marriage, single motherhood, and social isolation and health at older ages.

Sawako Shirahase Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo

My major is sociology, and I in particular have worked on social stratification and demographic transformation, represented by the decline in fertility rate and aging population. Inequality and Disparity are both old and new topics, and they are serious social problems which have not been solved quite a while. I welcome innovative studies about these social issues commonly found in our planet particularly by comparing with Japan.

Yu Xie Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Sociology and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

Yu Xie is Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Sociology and has a faculty appointment at the Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies, Princeton University. He is also a Visiting Chair Professor of the Center for Social Research, Peking University. His main areas of interest are social stratification, demography, statistical methods, Chinese studies, and sociology of science. His recently published works include: Marriage and Cohabitation (University of Chicago Press 2007) with Arland Thornton and William Axinn, Statistical Methods for Categorical Data Analysis with Daniel Powers (Emerald 2008, second edition), and Is American Science in Decline? (Harvard University Press, 2012) with Alexandra Killewald.