Women’s Employment and the Timing of 1st Marriage and 1st Childbirth in Japan: A Life Course Perspective

Keita Suga, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

This study investigates the patterns and covariates of Japanese women's career interruptions due to 1st marriage and/or 1st childbirth in a life course perspective. In particular, by using micro-level data for family formation of Japanese women, drawn from large scale national household survey, we evaluate to what extent and how interruptions of women's employment are related with a timing of 1st marriage and/or 1st childbirth.

Analytical framework is a competing-risks model in a discrete-time event history analysis technique. We take women’s age as an analysis time from a view point of life course, and we distinguish timings of stop working with a comparison to occurrences of 1st marriage and 1st childbirth in the model. This framework enables to assess whether quits from jobs around 1st marriage are associated with different factors for quits from jobs around 1st childbirth.

Results show that the timing of career interruption has been shifted from the time of 1st marriage to 1st childbirth, especially women of the youngest cohort who engaged in regular employment. At the same time, university graduates employed in public sector or large scale private company, where relatively generous supports for working mothers are available, more likely continue their employment at the time of 1st marriage and of 1st childbirth.

Presented in Poster Session 1