Determinants of the Gap Between Desired and Actual/Expected Number of Children in Japan and South Korea

  • Ji-Hey BaeEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Population Studies book series (BRIEFSPOPULAT)


The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of the gap between attitudes toward family size and actual/expected family size in Japan and South Korea. This study found that there is a gap between the desired and actual/expected number of children in both Japan and South Korea. Furthermore, the following common points and differences between the two countries were observed as factors that influence the discrepancy. In both Japan and South Korea, the employee benefits and family-related factors had no effect. It was observed that employment status was a point of difference between the two countries. In Japan, the gap was smaller for women employed regular workers than for unemployed women. By contrast, in South Korea, the woman’s employment status had no significant effect. This result suggests that the targets of countermeasures for low fertility will be different in each country. Finally, the effect of attitude-related factors was different in Japan and South Korea. However, there is a possibility of simultaneity bias in the association between having the desired number of children and attitudinal variables; therefore, it is necessary to be mindful of the causal relationships between variables. Future research might focus on the methodological problems, including validating the possibility of simultaneity bias.


Family size Gap between ideal and reality Work-related factors Attitude-related factors 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.J. F. Oberlin UniversityTokyoJapan

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