Machiko Osawa is a professor of economics at Japan Women’s University, and is also the director of the Research Institute for Women and Careers. She received her MA in economics from Eastern Illinois University (1977) and PhD in economics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1984). She was a researcher at the Center for Social Sciences, Columbia University (1980-84), a Hewlett Fellow at the University of Chicago (1984-86), a senior researcher, at the Japan Institute of Labor (1987-90), and associate professor of economics at Asia University (1990-96). She served on advisory boards for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor; Prime Minister’s Gender Equality Bureau; and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Osawa is author of various books, most recently When Housewives Return to the Labor Market-Towards Second Chance Society (NTT Shuppan, 2012); What’s Holding Back Japanese Women? (Tokyo Keizai Shinposya, 2015); Women and Work in the 21st Century, (Sayusya, 2018); and Why There Are So Few Women Managers in the Japanese Workplace (Seikyusya, 2019).
The purpose of this study is to examine the changing role of women workers during the course of economic development in Japan and the U.S., focusing on the impact of new technology on patterns of labor force participation, human capital formation and employment opportunities. In examining the impact of new technology on labor markets I will look at firm size and sectoral differences and also gender differences. It is also important to assess how technology influences adjustment strategies on a comparative basis. This relates to the shift of women from full-time to part-time employment status and an array of public policy issues which influence women's ability to reconcile the competing demands of the home and workplace.