Work at Older Ages in Japan: Variation by Gender and Employment Status

James M. Raymo*, Jersey Liang, Hidehiro Sugisawa, Erika Kobayashi, Yoko Sugihara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study describes the correlates of labor force participation among Japanese men and women aged 60-85 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S154-S163
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 05 2004
Externally publishedYes


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