When Social Norms Influence the Employment of Women: The Case of Japan

  • Sanae TashiroEmail author
  • Chu-Ping Lo
Original Article


This paper provides a simple model of social norms and performs cohort analyses to test its theoretical predictions with Heckman’s sample selection model using the 1993–2014 Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers data. Our results suggest that obedience to the society’s code of behavior is fairly prevalent among Japanese women, but the degree of adherence varies by birth cohort and also is influenced by educational quality and standards. Estimates further show an inverse relationship between adherence to social norms and labor force participation among Japanese women, and the effect of obedience to social norms on wages varies by birth cohort.


Employment Labor supply Wage Social norms 

JEL Classification

J16 J21 J31 Z13 



We thank anonymous referees and all participants at conferences for their comments on earlier versions. We also thank Mark Kolakowski for his editorial assistance. This research is partially supported by a Faculty Research Grant from Rhode Island College, the Rhode Island College Foundation, and the Rhode Island College Alumni Affairs Office. The data used in this paper are obtained from the Panel Data Research Center at Keio University (and initially from the Institute for Research and Household Economics).


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Copyright information

© EEA 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceRhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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