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Labor Force Participation of the Elderly in Japan

Takashi Oshio, Emiko Usui, Satoshi Shimizutani


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Working Longer, Courtney Coile, Kevin Milligan, and David Wise, editors
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press
in NBER Book Series - International Social Security

Japan experienced increases in labor force participation (LFP) of the elderly in recent years, as have other advanced countries. In the present study, we overview the employment trend of the elderly in Japan, and examine what factors have contributed to its increase since the early 2000s. Improved health and longevity, increasing education levels, and a shift towards less physically demanding jobs have allowed the elderly to stay longer in the labor force. However, elderly employment rebound and its timing are more closely linked to changes in social security incentives, especially increases in the eligibility age for public pension benefits. More broadly, reduced generosity in social security programs since the mid-1980s has been a key driver of the long-term trend change in elderly employment. A series of social security reforms have helped utilize the elderly’s potential work capacity, accumulated due to improving health conditions and other favorable factors for LFP in the elderly.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w24614, Labor Force Participation of the Elderly in Japan, Takashi Oshio, Emiko Usui, Satoshi Shimizutani
 
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