A new look at married women's labor force transitions in Japan

James M. Raymo, So jung Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine educational differences in married women's labor force attachment in Japan using 10 waves of data from a nationally representative survey. Results of discrete-time multi-state hazard models of labor force exit and entry indicate that university graduates are both more likely to remain in and less likely to reenter the labor force relative to women with a high school education or less. Their relatively low likelihood of labor force exit reflects educational differences in occupational characteristics, especially employment in full-time, standard jobs. However, junior college and university graduates remain substantially less likely to reenter the labor force net of family circumstances, characteristics of previous employment, and efforts to control for unobserved characteristics. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that tension between emerging incentives to remain in the labor force and lingering incentives to remain out of the labor force are both relatively strong among highly educated women. We conclude with speculation about the implications of these educational differences in married women's employment for stratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-472
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Education
  • Family
  • Japan
  • Labor force participation
  • Married women
  • Multi-state hazard model


Dive into the research topics of 'A new look at married women's labor force transitions in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this