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
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.