Low Fertility in Japan: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach

Mary Brinton, Harvard University
Yun Zhou , Brown University

We propose an agent-based model that focuses on second birth transition for married Japanese women. We highlight husbands’ household work hours and the behavior of peers within agents’ social networks to be the two factors shaping agents’ decision-making rules. Our model shows that with increases in husband’s housework hours, there is a more rapid increase in the transition rate within the initial period of the simulated timeframe. Secondly, agents’ network structure and the strength of the peer effect jointly shape the rate of transition to second birth on the group level. When agents form social ties from a wider range of neighbors and thus create a more integrated population, transition to second birth becomes more prevalent over time. Stronger peer effects are associated with higher transition rates across the simulated time-periods, and may make up for the absence of a closely connected and integrated population.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2