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“Women are Japan’s most underused resource”

Unleashing the potential of ‘Womenomics’ is an absolute must if Japan's growth is to continue.

By: Date: September 23, 2014 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

“Unleashing the potential of ‘Womenomics’ is an absolute must if Japan’s growth is to continue. (…) I will make other proposals at the U.N. for further empowering women and will promise to spend more than $3 billion in the three years to come solely for that purpose—all in the firm belief that Japan (…) and countries around the world can benefit”.

Shinzo Abe, Wall Street Journal, September 2013.

Unleashing the potential of ‘Womenomics’ is an absolute must if Japan’s growth is to continue

Engaging the full potential of the female labour force is one of the main objectives of the third arrow of Shinzo Abe’s eponymous “Abenomics” policy ensemble. The aim is to revive the Japanese economy in the short-run via a mix of monetary and fiscal stimulus (arrows one and two) and structural reforms to reinvigorate the long term growth potential of the Japanese economy (the third arrow).

This chart presents the recent evolution of the Japanese female employment rate. To account for secular changes in the labour market it’s presented as a fraction of the same rate for men.

We see women have been making steady progress for some time, closing the gap on their male counterparts, and with a possible faster-than-trend rate since the introduction of “Abenomics”. 

Is just a random uptick, or part a deeper shift in the Japanese labour market? Only time will tell…


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