Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 42-2012
In Japan, there is a shortage of long-term care facilities for the elderly and families are having difficulty supporting the elderly at home. Thus, the elderly in Japan often want to move to municipalities that have a greater availability in long-term care facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there is a gender difference in the elderly's welfare migration patterns in Japan. The analysis was performed by calculating net migration data by gender and age group using available plural statistical materials. Results showed a clear gender difference for both the early-stage and late-stage elderly. Results also revealed that the hypothesis of welfare migration is more appropriate for the late-stage elderly rather than the early-stage elderly, and confirmed that welfare-induced migration was a trend among males, especially those at the early-stage. The effect of the long-term care facilities was found to be the strongest for migration patterns among late-stage elderly females. In addition, the pattern for female migration showed consistent inflow to the larger cities. Implications of these findings on long-term care policy in Japan are discussed.