Causality and policy evaluation: Does intergenerational coresidence increase childbirth?

Stream: Relationships, parenting and wellbeing
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 10.45 am – 12.25 pm

Abstract

Population decline has become one of the most serious social issues in Japan. Although the Japanese government has introduced a series of policies over the years to promote fertility, the number of childbirths dropped a record low in 2018 and became less than a half in 40 years. To increase birthrate and to reduce the burden of childrearing, the Japanese government encourages intergenerational coresidence. This study investigates the effects of coresidence with own parents on additional childbirths to evaluate current Japanese policy. Data from the Japanese General Social Survey 2009 Life Course Study (JGSS-2009LCS) were used for this study. Eight hundred sixty-five women with at least one childbirth were drawn from a national representative sample, and their detailed life history was retrospectively collected by using a life history calendar. Propensity score matching was employed to reduce the impact of selection bias When you simply compare the number of children between those who live with their parents and who live away from their parents, the former does have more children than the latter. However, the results from propensity score matching show that the Average Treatment effect on the Treated (ATT) is not statistically significant. Although the Japanese government encourages intergenerational coresidence by offering a tax deduction, subsidy for a house renovation, etc., there is no strong empirical evidence supporting that such policy is effective for childbirth. The practical implication for the effective family policy will be discussed.

Author

Takayuki Sasaki (Presenter), Osaka University of Commerce
Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin