Land of the Rising Women? Estimating the Effect of Gender Culture on Regional Variations in Female Labour Force Participation in Japan
Sammanfattning: This paper analyses the explanatory power of differences in gender culture on persistent regional variations in female labour force participation across Japan. The phenomenon is scarcely studied, and establishing causality has never been the subject of research. The analysis is conducted at both the regional and prefectural level, using data from the World Values Survey, the Japanese General Social Survey, and macro-level data from Japanese Government Statistics. It also employs historical instrumental variables as an identification strategy for the effect of gender culture, using data from the 1925 Population Census. The empirical strategy aggregates data using both grouped and predicted means, the latter via the construction of a latent variable, and conducts four separate twostage least squares estimations. We find gender culture to have no significant effect at the regional level, and some significant effect at the prefectural level. We conclude that the evidence for prefectures holds up poorly, however, with economic sector composition a more convincing explanatory variable and weak instruments not allowing for any means of causal inference. This conclusion is reached despite the literature conducting similar studies for other countries, which altogether identify significant effects of gender culture.
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