- ESRI Studies Series on Ageing
Edited by Toshiaki Tachibanaki
Chapter 9: Conjoint analysis and effect of child-care policies on fertility
9. Conjoint analysis and eﬀect of child-care policies on fertility Yasushi Ohkusa* 1. INTRODUCTION The rapid ageing of the population and reduction in the number of children have changed the status of children from private goods of families to public goods, in the sense that they are contributors to the labor supply, tax revenue and social welfare costs. Such a signiﬁcant positive externality of children has lowered the private rate of return below the public one, and this situation calls for public intervention. This implies a need for change in child-care policy, from a welfare policy that primarily targets the poor to a positive public policy for the whole economy. However, there has been little research on this issue.1 There are signiﬁcant diﬀerences among regions that may lead to the imposition of drastic political changes. Observational data are limited, and cross-sectional data do not give a time-series perspective and may suﬀer from selection bias. Conducting a social experiment on fertility would be the best solution. However, such experiments are very expensive in terms of money and time. Moreover, they involve serious ethical problems that are likely to make their realization impossible. Instead of social experiments, questionnaires on hypothetical situations are used in surveys at diﬀerent times; these incur lower costs but are less accurate. Tsukahara (1995) is the pioneer in this ﬁeld in Japan; however, his research ignores the eﬀects of variables such as age, income and the actual number of children. In...
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