We use multiple rounds of a large national survey between 1986-2007 to evaluate the extent to which income sharing via intergenerational coresidence limits poverty among single mothers in Japan. Results indicate that official poverty rates based on single-mother households overstate the economic disadvantage of single mothers by 10-20 per cent by excluding those who are coresiding with parents. We also find that the rise in single parenthood accounts for most of the difference in poverty among mothers between 1986 and 2007 and that shared income is the most important factor in limiting poverty among single mothers living with parents.
Jim Raymo is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is also director of the Center for Demography and Ecology. He has published on key features of family change in Japan, including delayed marriage, extended coresidence with parents, and increases in premarital cohabitation, shotgun marriages, and divorce.
James Raymo, Professor, Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison