[Japanese] [Tanaka’s Home] [Tanaka’s works] [Family Change]

The Family, Marriage, and Gender Inequality

- quantitative analysis of economic situation after divorce
TANAKA Sigeto <http://www.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/~tsigeto/>
(Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University)
The 23rd GCOE Monthly Seminar, Tohoku University Global COE Program, Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality in the Age of Globalization (Sendai). (2011-02-16)

Full-text PDF file


In this presentation, I address how the institution of the family and marriage creates economic gender inequality. The focus is on the current situation in Japan, with an attention to recent changes.

The main body of the presentation is based on quantitative analyses of living standards for divorced men and women. Data are drawn from the National Family Research of Japan (NFRJ) project, in which family sociologists have repeated large-scale surveys with national representative samples in fiscal 1998 (NFRJ98), 2003 (NFRJ03), and 2008 (NFRJ08). I conducted a series of regression analyses to determine the effect of gender on equivalent household income (i.e., household income divided by the square root of the number of people in the household) for divorced men and women, controlling such variables as age, education, household composition, and employment status.

The results reveal strong effects of the gender differences in employment status and the presence of young children. These factors have maintained women’s disadvantageous situation after divorce, while divorced men’s situation has been getting worse in this decade. Another factor is remarriage, from which men and women receive different economic outcomes. We will discuss theoretical and political implications of the results.

I also intend to organize this presentation as an introduction to quantitative research for students who are not familiar with statistical methods. In this respect, the presentation will offer a concrete illustration of multivariate analysis without complicated mathematical explanation.

The theoretical idea and the method of analyses are basically same as the Chapter 11 of the GCOE series book, Gender Equality in Multicultural Societies (Tsujimura and Osawa eds., Tohoku University Press, 2010). Additional information will be available on the Web: http://www.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/~tsigeto/qfam/110216.html

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature on Post-Divorce Life and Gender Gap
  3. The Question to Be Answered
  4. Data
  5. Income and Gender Gap
  6. Factors for the Gender Gap after Divorce
  7. Discussion


See the Japanese page or the full paper.


The data for this secondary analysis, National Family Research of Japan 1998 (NFRJ98) and National Family Research of Japan 2003 (NFRJ03) by the NFRJ Committee, Japan Society of Family Sociology, was provided by the Social Science Japan Data Archive, Information Center for Social Science Research on Japan, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo. The author gratefully acknowledge the permission for the use of the National Family Research of Japan 2008 (NFRJ08) data by the NFRJ Committee, Japan Society of Family Sociology.

Related publications

Related sites and pages

Tohoku University / Faculty of Arts and Letters / Applied Japanese Linguistics / TANAKA Sigeto / Family Change in an Aging Society with Low Fertility

Copyright (c) 2011 TANAKA Sigeto

Address: http://www.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/~tsigeto/office.html

History of this page: