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Changes in women’s postmarital employment in Japan and Taiwan

Abstract

Research on female labor-force participation has not fully explained why economic development has different effects on married women’s employment continuity across societies. I use life-history data from nationally representative samples of women in Japan and Taiwan to examine the divergence in women’s patterns of labor-force exit in these two countries during the postwar period. The findings reveal that the effects of family demands, occupation, firm size, and employment sector on women’s exit rates differed substantially between Japan and Taiwan. Taken together, these factors account for the different trends in married women’s employment during this period. I argue that the cross-national differences in the predictors of women’s labor-force withdrawal reflect the extent of incompatibility between work and family responsibilities for married women in these two societies.

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Correspondence to Wei-Hsin Yu.

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This research was supported by Academia Sinica in Taiwan and the Mellon Foundation Center Grant on Migration and Urbanization in Developing Countries. I also acknowledge the support of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R24 HD42849) to the Population Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin. I am grateful to Mary Brinton, William Parish, Linda Waite, Andrés Villarreal, Robert Hummer, anonymous reviewers, and the Demography editors for their helpful comments and suggestions, and to the Social Strati cation and Social Mobility (SSM) Committee for permission to use a portion of the 1995 SSM data.

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Yu, WH. Changes in women’s postmarital employment in Japan and Taiwan. Demography 42, 693–717 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2005.0039

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Keywords

  • Labor Force
  • Married Woman
  • Japanese Woman
  • Exit Rate
  • Taiwanese Woman