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Work at older ages in Japan: Variation by gender and employment status

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Raymo, James, Jersey Liang, H. Sugisawa, E. Kobayashi, and Y. Sugihara. 2004. "Work at older ages in Japan: Variation by gender and employment status." Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological and Social Sciences, 59(3): S154-S163.

Objectives. This study describes the correlates of labor force participation among Japanese men and women aged 6085 and examines differences by gender and employment status. Methods. Using four waves of data collected from a national sample of older Japanese between 1990 and 1999, we estimate multinomial logistic regression models for three measures of labor force participation (current labor force status, labor force exit, and labor force re-entry) as a function of individual and family characteristics measured 3 years earlier.

Results. Labor force participation is significantly associated with socioeconomic status, longest occupation, and family structure. The strength and nature of these relationships differ markedly for men and women and for wage employment and self-employment.

Discussion. The emphasis on life course experiences and work-family interdependence characterizing recent research on retirement in the United States is clearly relevant in Japan as well. To better understand later-life labor force participation in Japan, subsequent research should incorporate more direct measures of life course experiences and family relationships and attempt to make explicit cross-national comparisons of these relationships.

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