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Yuko Kinoshita and Fang Guo

panel shows female employment profile by age group. There is a striking difference between Asian and Nordic countries. In Japan and Korea, there is a drop in FLFP at the age group of 25-29 while no such drop is found for Finland and Norway. In Japan and Korea, FLFP starts to increase moderately again after 45-49. This is a so-called M-shaped pattern over the working-life span among Asian female labor force ( Ishizuka, 2014 ). This implies a disruption in the career progression of women around the time of marriage and/or childbearing. Women drop out of the labor force

Yuko Kinoshita and Fang Guo
Both Japan and Korea are trying to boost female labor force participation (FLFP) as they face the challenges of a rapidly aging population. Though FLFP has generally been on a rising trend, the female labor force in both countries is skewed towards non-regular employment despite women’s high education levels. This paper empirically examines what helps Japan and Korea to increase FLFP by type (i.e., regular vs. non-regular employment), using the SVAR model. In so doing, we compare these two Asian countries with two Nordic countries Norway and Finland. The main findings are: (i) child cash allowances tend to reduce the proportion of regular female employment in Japan and Korea, (ii) the persistent gender wage gap encourages more non-regular employment, (iii) a greater proportion of regular female employment is associated with higher fertility, and (iv) there is a need for more public spending on childcare for age 6-11 in Japan and Korea to help women continue to work.