S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.42 No.1/2 (2013)
Demography as Social Risk: Demographic Change and Accumulated Inequality
- Shirahase, Sawako
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.42 No.2, pp. 213-235
- Economic Inequality; Aging Population; Household Structure; Head of the Household; Labor Force Activity of Old People
- The main purpose of this paper is to discuss social risks related to aging populations, focusing on family and work for eldelry people in contemporary Japan. I mainly examine economic inequality measured by mean log deviation and the poverty rate as concrete phenomenon to show social risk. The data which I analyze is the Comprehensive Survey of People’s Living Condition in 1986, 1995, and 2004, conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan.
There are two major findings of this paper. First, I found that the overall economic inequality among the elderly aged 65 and over has declined mainly because of the decline in the number of those who work and the difference in economic well-being between household types. In particular, the high advantage in the economic well-being of the elderly in a three-generation household has been no longer guaranteed. Second, there was a significant gender difference in the relationship between his/her past life course and economic hardship in their later life. In sum, the location of the elderly at home and in the labor market has changed, and as a consequence, the content of social risk related to aging has been more differentiated.