Childcare and Measures Targeting Japan’s Low Birth Rate: What Effect Can the Decentralization of Authority Have on the Birth Rate?
The belief exists that the concentration of Japan’s population in Tokyo is responsible for the nation’s low birth rate, and that this issue should therefore be addressed by means of regional revitalization. This belief is based on a misreading of the facts. It will be essential to put into effect measures targeting the low birth rate in the cities where the population is concentrated. We identify two reasons for the failure of measures targeting the low birth rate to make progress in Japan’s major cities: (1) a time lag between population influxes and the provision of public funding for childcare, and (2) the fact that surrounding municipalities are able to enjoy a free ride on a specific municipality’s expenditure on childcare due to a spillover effect.
KeywordsRegional revitalization Childrearing support measures Low birth rate Spillover effect Waiting list problem Model benefit Voucher
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