Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


The Japanese Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) of 1985 aimed to reduce gender discrimination in the labor market, especially for career-oriented jobs. This paper investigates whether this act had an unanticipated effect on women's marriage decisions. Using micro data from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers, we model women's interrelated decisions on university education and whether to marry, focusing on whether women have married by age 32. Our results show a negative relationship between university education and marriage that is much greater for post-EEOA cohorts of women than for pre-EEOA cohorts, consistent with our hypothesis that the enhanced career opportunities associated with the EEOA stimulated women to delay or forgo marriage.


This article was published in the Journal of Human Capital, available at DOI: 10.1086/702924. It is the revised and published version of the working paper of the same title available at



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