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Public Lecture Slides (5.30.19) Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan - "Busy, Happy, and Withdrawn"


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Speaker: Mito Akiyoshi, Professor of Sociology at Senshu University

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Public Lecture Slides (5.30.19) Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan - "Busy, Happy, and Withdrawn"

  1. 1. “Busy, Happy, and Withdrawn” Director’s cut Mito Akiyoshi Senshu University
  2. 2. Japanese women sleep and leisure deprived (Nakamura and Akiyoshi 2015) 2
  3. 3. Average sleep per day by gender and age (minutes), married individuals 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Women Men Source: Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities (The Ministry of Internal Affiairs and Communications 2016)
  4. 4. Stretched thin, but “Smile goes a long way!” Life of a working mother who gets by with 4 hours of sleep is glamorized as an “ideal” 4
  5. 5. Typical moms’ timetables show the extent of sleep deprivation 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. Research Problem How much “return” they get from time investment in various leisure activities? RQ1. What kind of leisure activities do Japanese women engage in? RQ2. What kind of activities contribute to greater happiness? RQ 3. How much happiness do women gain from various leisure activities? 7
  8. 8. Data and Methods The 2007 International Social Survey Program (N=31,330) Argentina, Australia, Austria, Flanders (Belgium), Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary (dropped), Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (dropped), the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay. Implicit valuation function to assess the happiness gain on time investment 8
  9. 9. Implicit valuation function of the quality of leisure activities HAPPYi -=DEM′iβDEM+SEC′iβSEC+LEISURE′iβLEISURE +εi • Happy Four point value multiplied by 10 • DEM (demographic variables) age, gender, marital status, health, household composition (children) • SEC (socioeconomic variables) education, employment status, community type, income decile (Stanca 2009) 9
  10. 10. Types of leisure activities •Media consumption •Physical activities •Attending sporting events •Attending cultural events •Handicrafts •Getting together with relatives/ friends •Association/group participation 10
  11. 11. The Japanese socialize more with relatives than with friends -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 Friends Relatives 11
  12. 12. Limited participation in associations/groups -1.4 -1.2 -1 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0 Politics Community Church Culture Sports 12
  13. 13. Activities/Groups that increase happiness Activities • Watching TV • Reading • Handicrafts • Listening to music • Time with relatives • Time with friends Participation in • Sports association • Church or religious organization 13
  14. 14. Activities that suppress happiness 14 Internet use Participation in cultural associations/groups
  15. 15. Quality of leisure activities -0.200 0.000 0.200 0.400 0.600 0.800 1.000 1.200 1.400 Men Women 15
  16. 16. Findings • Japanese women experience time paucity. • As a result, they are not active in media consumption and group participation. • Whatever leisure time they have, they “invest” wisely, engaging in high-return activity selectively. • Differences in availability of leisure time between sexes DO NOT translate into differences in qualities of leisure activities. 16
  17. 17. Policy implications I •Women’s “utility maximizing” behavior leads to their withdrawal from political groups/associations and community groups/associations. •The focus on the private/family is partly a function of optimizing behavior. 17
  18. 18. Policy implications II • To promote women’s involvement in politics and economy (1) Make pertinent activities worthwhile and attractive. (e.g. eliminate statistical discrimination) (2) Redress the leisure imbalance to allow women “waste” their time on activities whose payoff are not always immediate and clear. (e.g. politics, community building) 18