Income contingent loan scheme and gender income gap in Japan: Will WOMANONICS work to close the gap?

Crawford School of Public Policy | Australia-Japan Research Centre

Event details

Public Seminar

Date & time

Wednesday 29 August 2018


Seminar Room 3, Crawford School of Public Policy, #132 Lennox Crossing, ANU


Nobuko Nagase, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo


Thomas Home

The presentation first show estimates of wage distribution of university graduates in Japan by gender using Labour Force Survey, and estimate the governmental burden of income contingent loan scheme for university education, a scheme following Australia and UK. This estimation is a collaborative work with Prof Lorraine Dearden of City College London. The result shows a large gender wage gap both in lower quantile and higher quantile in Japan, which could cause moral hazard in the income contingent loan repayment. Repayment from household budget was also estimated.

I will then see whether the Abe Cabinet’s effort to increase female labour supply and close gender wage gap had any significant effect. The policies from 2013 are surveyed, and the effects are estimated using microdata from the Labour Force Survey combined with data at the prefectural level on day care provision. A difference‐in‐difference (DD) method is applied to uncover the impacts of the Abe Cabinet’s policies, in labor supply, work continuation, and promotion. The rapid increase in the provision of infant care, especially in the urban area, has contributed to a strong increase in the labor participation of mothers with young children. In addition, DD method estimates show a strong increase in mothers with infants staying in permanent‐contract regular employment. Increase in women in managerial position was also significant, but the gap is still very large, and the gender wage gap remains large.

Nobuko Nagase is a professor of Labour Economics and Social Policy at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan. She has written about work and family in the Asian perspective, comparing Japan with other East Asian and Western economies. Her interests include wage structure and work choice, labour market regulations and social security, tax and other institutional effects on work and gender, marital behavior and child-birth timing. Results of her research have been published in various scholarly peer-reviewed journals in Japan, including Japanese Economic Journal, Asian Policy Economic Journal, Journal of Population Problem and Econometric Review. She obtained her PhD in 1995 and her BA in 1989 from the University of Tokyo, Economics Department.

Nagase has served in governmental appointments such as the Special Committee on Council for Gender Equality at the Japanese Cabinet Office, the Japanese Tax Commission, and the Statistics Committee for the Japanese government. Since 2012, she has been a member of the Science Council of Japan.

Updated:  18 August 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Services Team