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Aging Issues in the United States and Japan$
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Seiritsu Ogura, Toshiaki Tachibanaki, and David A. Wise

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226620817

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226620831.001.0001

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What Went Wrong with the 1991–92 Official Population Projection of Japan?

What Went Wrong with the 1991–92 Official Population Projection of Japan?

(p.361) 12 What Went Wrong with the 1991–92 Official Population Projection of Japan?
Aging Issues in the United States and Japan

Seiritsu Ogura

University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows that Japanese government demographers failed in their 1991–92 population projection due to a fundamental flaw in their methodology. In fact, if the same methodology is applied to the 1997 projection, there is hardly any need to change their 1991–92 projection. Thus, their methodologically “correct” projection will continue to diverge from reality for another five years, when they are scheduled for another projection. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 12.2 describes the formal demographic model used in the 1991–92 projection and presents the author's own estimates using new data made available since 1992. Section 12.3 formulates a marriage/birth model and explores the possibility of misspecification as a source of the government model's sensitivity to truncation. Section 12.4 formulates the age distribution of marital fertility rates and reports estimation results. Section 12.5 looks at significant changes in the marital behavior of Japanese women that took place in the last twenty years. Section 12.6 analyzes the causes of the decline in the fertility rates observed among three different cohorts almost five years apart, while Section 12.7 provides concluding remarks.

Keywords:   government demographers, Japanese government, demographic model, marital behavior, fertility, marriage, birth

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