Geographical review of Japan, Series B.
Online ISSN : 2185-1700
Print ISSN : 0289-6001
ISSN-L : 0289-6001
Women's Participation in the Labour Force in Japan: Trends and Regional Patterns
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1994 Volume 67 Issue 1 Pages 15-35


The purpose of this paper is to investigate women's participation in the labour force in urbanized and non-urbanized areas of Japan through the last three decades and to determine the factors affecting regional variation of the women's participation rate in 1985.
In 1955, the ratio of working persons (R. W. P.) in urbanized areas was much lower than that in non-urbanized areas, but in 1985 the R. W. P. in the two areas converged and their profiles by age group showed rather similar patterns. This is caused by the dramatic increase of female workers of middle age in urbanized areas and the heightened enrollment rate for middle school and university. Many of the increased number of female workers are employed on a temporary or part-time basis.
A multiple regression analysis applied to the regional labour force participation rate (L. F. P. R.) by age group in 1985 indicates that the ratio of farming households out of the total number of households is the most important variable for 25-64 age groups to explain the regional variation of L. F. P. R, but no conspicuous factors are found for the 15-24 age group.

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