Due to recent shifts in Japan's labor market, as well as the country's rapidly aging society and declining birthrate , the environment and the institutions surrounding us have been drastically transformed. Given these transformations, our lifestyles and social consciousness are also changing. Nonetheless, despite the social changes that have occurred, several aspects of our lifestyles, customs, and norms have been maintained.
In order to adequately understand these social aspects, it is necessary to conduct time series research that allows us to compare the same subjects at different time points. This is achieved in the present study using a panel survey.
Existing research has largely been conducted through cross-sectional surveys based on a single time point. By repeating such surveys according to a detailed plan, it is possible to explore major social changes to some extent. However, the fact that the subjects in each survey differ represents a potential challenge, as it makes it more difficult to grasp accurate causal relationships between incidents or social/economic transformations and changes in people's actions and perceptions.
Thus, by conducting a panel survey based on the same subjects and tracing changes in the actions and perceptions of these subjects over time, we can properly identify, on the one hand, what kinds of factors affect people's choices, and, on the other, what kinds of social/economic environments affect people.
The collapse of Japanese-style employment practices and the economic recession have changed the conditions surrounding our lives; for example, in terms of the transition from schools to workplaces, the increase in the number of female employees, and the aging society and declining birthrate.
That said, how much do such social changes actually relate to people's actions and choices, and to what extent do these changes alter people's perceptions of values?
Answering these questions is highly meaningful not only for generating academic discussion, but also for identifying effective policies relating to these issues.
Based on the above objectives, the Institute of Social Science conducted panel surveys focusing on three demographics: youth, middle-aged, and high-school graduates.