Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Kunio Urakawa Last modified date:2024.04.02

Professor / Fields in Economic Analysis and Policy
Department of Economic Engineering
Faculty of Economics

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Kunio URAKAWA Laboratory (Homepage) .
Academic Degree
Ph.D in Economics (Kyoto University, Japan)
Field of Specialization
Applied Economics, Welfare Policy
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
1. Empirical Analysis of Tax and Social Security Policies on Dynamics of Population, Income Redistribution and Poverty
2. Study on Socioeconomic and Regional Facotrs nalysis of Subjective Well-being
3. Research on Value Judgement for Income Redistribution
Research Interests
  • Economics of Redistribution and Poverty
    keyword : Tax and Social Security Policy, Health Economics, Inequality, Poverty, Subjective Well-being
Academic Activities
1. Toshiaki Tachibanaki and Kunio Urakawa, A Study on Poverty in Japan, University of Tokyo Press, 2006.
2. Toshiaki Tachibanaki and Kunio Urakawa, A Study on Regional Disparity in Japan, Nippon Hyoronsya, 2012. .
1. [Book Review] Atsuhiro Yamada, et al. (2018), An Empirical Analysis on Securing a Minimum Standard of Living in Japan: Comparative Study of Aging Societies, Yuhikaku Publishing. (Journal of Social Security Research, 4(2), 250-253, 2019).
2. [Book Review] Atsuhiro Yamada, et al. (2018), An Empirical Analysis on Securing a Minimum Standard of Living in Japan: Comparative Study of Aging Societies, Yuhikaku Publishing. (Journal of Social Security Research, 4(2), 250-253, 2019).
3. [Book Review] Sawako Shirahase, Thinking about Inequality in Japan: Comparative Study of Aging Societies, University of Tokyo Press. (Japanese Journal of Labour Research, 594, 2010).
4. [Book Review] Stephen.P. Jenkins and John Micklewright ed., Inequality and Poverty Re-examined. (The Review of Comparative Social Security Research, 170, 2010).
1. Wen Li, Kunio Urakawa, and Fumihiko Suga, “Gender gap in the returns to college education in Japan: The impact of attending a high-ranking college”
[Accepted: 14 September 2022; Published: February 2023], Social Science Japan Journal, 26, 1, 1-15, 2023.03, [URL], This study investigates the gender gap present in the relationship between obtaining a college degree and labor earnings in Japan, using a dataset that contains detailed information about the colleges from which the respondents graduated. In particular, we focus on the ranking of colleges as a factor.
We find that obtaining a college degree, regardless of the college ranking, is positively correlated with higher earnings even after controlling educational and cultural experiences in childhood, for both men and women, but that this relationship is stronger for men. Moreover, graduating from a high-ranking college is positively and significantly associated with higher earnings for male workers only. Further, the relationship between a high-ranking college degree and women’s spousal labor earnings is positive and significant. Thus, opportunities to obtain higher education benefits are most likely connected to the different paths that men and women take to attain economic success..
2. Daisuke Uchida, Kunio Urakawa, Younan Yu "The Diffusion of Parental Leave for Fathers in Japanese Firms: Exploring Antecedents and Performance Outcomes," The Japanese Journal of Labour Research (Nihon-Rodo-Kenkyu-Zasshi), 751, 108-121, 2023.02. [in Japanese], [URL].
3. Wei Wang, Kunio Urakawa, and Kyoko Anegawa, “Effects of university graduation on multidimensional poverty risks in Japan”, International Journal of Educational Research,, 2022.10, [URL], This study examined data obtained from a nationwide internet survey of Japan, which asked approximately 8,000 randomly selected respondents engaged as NTT Com Research Monitors (about 2.1 million in all). The study applied propensity score matching to estimate college graduation effects on poverty risk in Japan. Using a compensation approach, the study specifically examined poverty of two kinds: income poverty and interdependent multidimensional poverty (IMD poverty).
Estimation results suggest that, after controlling for early childhood cultural capital variables from the home environment, men show adequate college degree effects on earnings and reduction of poverty risk. For women, decreased poverty risk was found for college graduates in terms of income poverty (household level), but no significant effect was found for either income poverty (individual level) or IMD poverty. Specialized knowledge acquired by women during college education might not be applied adequately in the Japanese labor market..
4. Fumihiko Suga, Kunio Urakawa, Wen Li "Postgraduate wage premium in Japan" Japanese Journal of Labour Research (Nihon-Rodo-Kenkyu-Zasshi), 742, 64-80, 2022.05. [in Japanese], [URL].
5. Wen Li, Kunio Urakawa, and Fumihiko Suga, “Are Social Norms Associated with Married Women’s Labor Force Participation? A Comparison of Japan and the United States”
[Accepted: 02 December 2021; Published: 08 January 2022]
, Journal of Family and Economic Issues,, 2021.12, [URL], Although the social-economic status of women has improved worldwide, with several factors reducing gender differences in labor participation and income equality, a substantial gender gap persists. The goal of this study is to determine how the gender gap is associated with social norms. Specifically, within the context of gender roles, we examine the social norm that wives should not earn more than their husbands. We estimate a model that explains wives’ labor force participation in terms of the probability of wives earning more than their husbands by applying an estimation procedure that accounts for potential bias arising from self-selection into employment. Since the impact of social norms can vary in different cultural contexts, we compare the estimation results using datasets obtained from surveys conducted in Japan and the US—representing Eastern and Western cultures, respectively. Our results indicate that a 10 percentage point increase in the probability of wives earning more than their husbands is associated with an 8 percentage point decrease in their labor force participation rate in Japan, whereas the probability of wives earning more is not significant when the model is estimated using U.S. data. Thus, wives’ labor force participation decisions can be related to the social norm more closely in Japan than in the US, reflecting the different social status of women in these countries..
6. Kunio Urakawa and Kyoko Anegawa, “Do the learning opportunities from university experience affect preferences for redistribution? - The case of Japan”, Journal of Political Economy (Keizaigaku=Kenkyu), Kyushu University, 88(1), 99-115, 2021.06.
7. Younan Yu and Kunio Urakawa "Empirical analysis of minimum wage policy in Japan: Validation of mutual effects among prefectures," Journal of Personal Finance and Economics (Seikatsu-Keizaigaku-Kenkyu), 53, 61-73, 2021.03. [in Japanese].
8. Kunio Urakawa, Wei Wang and Masrul Alam, “Empirical Analysis of Time Poverty and Health-Related Activities in Japan”, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 10.1007/s10834-020-09671-2, 41, 520-529, 2020.02, [URL].
9. Kunio Urakawa and Tomoya Tokudomi, “Subjective poverty equivalence scales in Japan: Empirical analysis by regional area and household type”, Journal of Political Economy (Keizaigaku=Kenkyu), Kyushu University, 86(4), 57-72, 2019.12.
10. Wei Wang and Kunio Urakawa, “Effects of multidimensional poverty on health indicators in Japan: Income, time and social relations”, Contemporary Issues in Applied Economics, Hosoe, M., Ju, B.G., Yakita, A. and Hong, K. (eds.),Springer, 311-326, 2019.09, [URL], This study specifically examined relations between income and time poverty, and daily health-related activities including physical activities and poor health
habits. We used a nationwide internet household survey in Japan conducted in 2012 with 6491 respondents aged 20–79 (80.5% response rate), sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). From the estimation results obtained using econometric models, we observed that time poverty at a household level was highly associated with short duration sleeping of the household member. Indeed, we observed different results for women and men. For men, individuals who fell into the lack of living time category might be prevented from actively engaging in sports, while getting less sleep.
For women, both income and time poverty tended to depend on alcohol consumption behavior. We point out that government must increase policy support for households who confront difficult circumstances of time poverty and income poverty..
11. Kunio Urakawa and Carl Page, “The case of foreign-born laborers in Japan: Social capital, health, and well-being”, Journal of Political Economy (Keizaigaku=Kenkyu), Kyushu University, 85, 1, 105-120, 2018.05.
12. Kunio Urakawa and Kayoko Ishii "Working poor and time poverty: New insights on poverty problems of workers," Journal of Poverty (Hinkon-Kenkyu), 21, 12-25, 2018.12. [in Japanese].
13. Tomoya Tokudomi and Kunio Urakawa, "Poverty variation in Japan during the 2000s: Decomposition analysis of poverty measure changes," Journal of Social Security Research (Shakai Hosho-Kenkyu), 2(4), 551-565, 2018.03. [in Japanese].
14. Kunio Urakawa, "Does disparity truly affect subjective well-being?" Japanese Journal of Labour Research (Nihon-Rodo-Kenkyu-Zasshi), 690, 31-43, 2018.01. [in Japanese].
15. Kunio Urakawa, "Lifetimes of poverty: Geographical household factors," Journal of Poverty (Hinkon-Kenkyu), 16, 35-44, 2014.11. [in Japanese].
16. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa, "Economic theories of poverty measurement: The current and future issues," The Econonmic Review (Keizai-Kenkyu), 67(3), 261-284, 2016.07. [in Japanese], [URL].
17. Kunio Urakawa and Takashi Saito, "The choice modeling approach to evaluation of public health insurance system in Japan", Journal of Political Economy (Keizaigaku=Kenkyu), Kyushu University, 83, 1, 63-87, 2016.06.
18. Kunio Urakawa, "Research on senses of disparity and poverty: Trends and political implications," Journal of Poverty (Hinkon-Kenkyu), 14, 4-16, 2015.07. [in Japanese].
19. Tadashi Yagi, Kunio Urakawa and Katsuhiko Yonezaki, "Happiness and employment status", Advances in Happiness Research: A Comparative Perspective (Creative Economy), Toshiaki Tachibanaki (ed.), Springer, 139-162, 2016.02.
20. Kunio Urakawa, "Setting the poverty line and measuring poverty," Journal of Poverty (Hinkon-Kenkyu), 13, 4-16, 2014.11. [in Japanese].
21. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa, "The Association Between Perceived Income Inequality and Subjective Well-being: Evidence from a Social Survey in Japan", Social Indicators Research, 10.1007/s11205-013-0323-x, 116, 3, 755-770, 2014.05, [URL].
22. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa, "Neighbourhood satisfaction, self-rated health, and psychological attributes: A multilevel analysis in Japan", Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32, 410-417, 2012.10, [URL].
23. Kunio Urakawa, "The welfare impact of marginal consumption tax reforms on young households in Japan", Journal of Political Economy (Keizaigaku-Kenkyu), 78, 5・6, 89-106, 2012.03.
24. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa (2012), "Relative income and subjective well-being in Japan: Perceived happiness, self-rated health and trust," The Econonmic Review (Keizai-Kenkyu), 63(1), 42-55, 2012.01. [in Japanese], [URL].
25. Kunio Urakawa, "Current Status of Happiness Research: Prescription for Uncertainty about the Future," Japanese Journal of Labour Studies (Nihon-Rodo-Kenkyu-Zasshi), 612, 4-15, 2011.06. [in Japanese].
26. Kunio Urakawa, "Widening disparity on income and education", Quarterly of personal finance (Kikan-Kojin-Kinnyu), 5, 1, 11-21, 2010.03. [in Japanese].
27. Kunio Urakawa and Takashi Oshio, "Comparing marginal commodity tax reforms in Japan and Korea", Journal of Asian Economics, 21, 2, 579-592, 2010.07, [URL].
28. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa (2008) "The trend of poverty and redistribution policies in the first half of the 2000s," The Quarterly of Social Security Research (Kikan Shakai Hosho Kenkyu), 44(3), 278-290., [URL].
29. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, Kunio Urakawa, "Trends in Poverty among Low-income Workers in Japan since the Nineties", Japan Labor Review, 5, (4), 21-48, 2008.11.
30. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa (2008) "Intra-gerational redistribution effect of public pension in Japan," 183-218, Keimei Kaizuka and Ministry of Finance Policy Research Institute (eds), A Study on Social Security System Reform in a Declining Society in Japan, Chuo-Keizai Sha.
31. Takashi Oshio and Kunio Urakawa (2008) "Poverty Problems in Japanese Households: Income Inequality, Poverty and Polarization in the First Half of the 2000s," Journal of Economics and Business Administration, 198(2), 40-54 (in Japanese).
32. Kunio Urakawa (2007), "Political Economy of Basic Income Theory," Journal of Economics & Business Administration, 196, 6, 98-113. (in Japanese).
33. Kunio Urakawa and Tsukasa Matsuura (2007), "The Effect of Economic Disparity and Class Mobility on Life Satisfaction," Journal of Personal Finance and Economics, 26, 13-30. (in Japanese).
34. Kunio Urakawa and Tsukasa Matsuura (2007), "The Effect of Relative Differences on Life Satisfaction -Analysis of a Panel Survey of Consumers," Japanese Journal of Research on Household Economics, 73, 61-70. (in Japanese).
35. Kunio Urakawa (2006), "Disparity and Poverty in Relation to the Quality of Residential Life," The Economic Review, 178, 3, 85-109. (in Japanese), [URL].
1. Kunio Urakawa, "Effects of time poverty on leisure activities and subjective well-being: An analysis using Japan’s data", WINIR Conference, 2023.09.
2. Kunio Urakawa, Masaaki Irie, "Impact of Debt Levels in Local Governments on Fiscal Spending Structure: Evidence from Japan", East Asian Social Policy, International Conference, 2023.09.
3. Xiao Fan and Kunio Urakawa, “Effects of social capital related to human resources on donation behaviors in Japan”, 日本応用経済学会(南山大学), 2021.11.
4. Ando, M. and Urakawa, K. (2020) "Income and housing poverty: Multidimensionality heterogeneity and nonlinearity".
5. Kunio Urakawa, “Do the learning opportunities provided by university experiences affect preference for redistribution?- The case of Japan”, 日本経済学会(神戸大学), 2019.10.
6. Wen Li and Kunio Urakawa, “Do social norms overpower comparative advantage theory? A comparison of Japan and the U.S.”, 日本応用経済学会(南山大学), 2019.06.
7. Kunio Urakawa, "Income and housing poverty: Multidimensionality, heterogeneity and nonlinearity" , International Studies on Social Security (FISS), 26th International Research Seminar on Issues in Social Security, Sigtuna, Sweden, 2019.06.
8. Kunio Urakawa, "Analysis of poverty of income and living time in Japan: An approach from estimation of CES well-being function", World Social Science Forum 2018 (Fukuoka Convention Center), 2018.09, [Abstract] Using panel data from the Japan Household Panel Survey (2011–2014), this study performed poverty analysis with attention to two dimensions: income and leisure time. We examined the substitutability and interdependent relationship of income and time via the estimation of CES-utility function. After the quantification, we estimated the gender gap and the socio-economic causes of interdependent multidimensional (IMD) poverty in Japan.
Empirical results obtained from this analysis found that single-female-parent households are particularly prone to experience simultaneously scarcity of time and income, and two-parent households having two or more preschool children had been underestimated through the conventional income-based poverty indicator, because they unable to provide minimally required housework and childcare services even by using their household income. In addition, academic background and job statuses also affect the risk of IMD poverty.
This study contributes to find severe poverty situations and suggest the increasing necessity for further employment support for single parents and childcare support for households in which both parents work outside in Japan..
9. Kunio Urakawa, "Family environment perception during childhood affects “capability for work” and subjective well-being", Human Development & Capability Association 2016 Conference (Hitotsubashi University), 2016.09.
10. 浦川 邦夫, Masrul ALAM, "Empirical analysis of Socioeconomic factors affecting sports activity in the US, France & Japan", 日本応用経済学会 (広島大学), 2016.06.
11. 浦川 邦夫, Masrul ALAM, "The relationship between self-rated health and daily activities of workers: comparison across three countries, US, France, Japan", EASP (East Asian Social Policy) [東アジア社会政策学会], 2015.07.
12. 浦川 邦夫, Wei WANG, "The impact of multidimensional poverty on health indicators in Japan: income, education, lifetime and social inclusion", EASP (East Asian Social Policy) [東アジア社会政策学会], 2015.07.
13. 浦川 邦夫, 姉川恭子, "Government subsidy effects on private university management in Japan: A quantile regression analysis", EASP (East Asian Social Policy) [東アジア社会政策学会], 2015.07.
14. Kunio Urakawa, "The role of capability for work on subjective well-being: labor satisfaction, self-rated health and subjective poverty", The International Conference on Social Stratification and Health, 2013.09.
15. Choice Modeling Approach to Evaluation of Public Health Insurance System in Japan, [URL].
16. Sense of coherence as a mediator between perceived neighborhood characteristics and health.
17. The choice modeling approach to the evaluation of public health insurance system in Japan.
18. Kunio Urakawa, "The Impact of Migration on Earnings in Japan: Empirical Evidence from Japanese Working People," Japan Association for Applied Economics, 2009, Spring, Nagoya University.
19. Kunio Urakawa, "The Welfare Impact of Marginal Consumption Tax Reforms on Young Households in Japan,” Kansai Labour Workshop, 2009, Kansai Economic Federation..
20. Kunio Urakawa, “Comparing Marginal Commodity Tax Reforms in Japan and Korea,” Japan Association for Applied Economics, 2008, spring, Kumamoto Gakuen University..
Membership in Academic Society
  • American Economic Association
  • Japan Association for Social Policy Studies
  • Japanese Economic Association
  • Japanese Association for Applied Economics
  • Society for the Study of Poverty
Educational Activities

[Graduate School of Economics]
Welfare Policy I
Welfare Policy II
Econometric Analysis
Public Economics
Health Economics
Welfare Economics
Economics of Education

[School of Economics]
Social Security
Information Processing I
Research Seminar (Applied Economics)

Applied Econometrics
Japanese Economy
Professional and Outreach Activities
2009.01~2011.12, Member of editrial board, Studies in Applied Economics, Japan Association for Applied Economics.