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Lifetime employment in Japan: Concepts and measurements

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  • Ono, Hiroshi

Abstract

This paper addresses three questions: (1) How big is lifetime employment in Japan? (2) How unique is it? and (3) How is it changing? Through the use of multiple data sets and methods, I find that no more than 20% of workers in Japan are likely to be employed under informal lifetime employment contracts, a far smaller percentage than has been reported. Job mobility remains considerably lower in Japan than in other advanced economies (particularly the US). Evidence regarding changes in lifetime employment is mixed. The share of workers in the core is declining, but the probability of job separations has remained stable for those who are already in the system. There is also evidence that the economic stagnation of the 1990s disproportionately affected females and younger workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:24:y:2010:i:1:p:1-27

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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Keywords: Lifetime employment Job mobility Human capital Internal labor market;

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References

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  1. Houseman, Susan N & Abraham, Katharine G, 1993. "Female Workers as a Buffer in the Japanese Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 45-51, May.
  2. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1995. "A Short History of Labour Turnover, Job Tenure, and Job Security, 1975-93," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 73-90, Spring.
  3. Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel & Hansen, Daniel, 1999. "Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S29-64, October.
  4. Hashimoto, Masanori & Raisian, John, 1985. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 721-35, September.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 1984. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 0560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hiroshi Ono & Marcus Rebick, 2003. "Constraints on the Level and Efficient Use of Labor," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 225-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Diebold, Francis X & Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel, 1997. "Job Stability in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 206-33, April.
  8. Ariga,Kenn & Brunello,Giorgio & Ohkusa,Yasushi, 2000. "Internal Labour Markets in Japan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521642408, April.
  9. Hiroshi Ono & Marcus E. Rebick, 2003. "Constraints on the Level and Efficient Use of Labor in Japan," NBER Working Papers 9484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Flath, David, 2014. "The Japanese Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198702405, September.
  11. Peter AUER & Sandrine CAZES, 2000. "The resilience of the long-term employment relationship: Evidence from the industrialized countries," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 139(4), pages 379-408, December.
  12. Rebick Marcus E., 1993. "The Persistence of Firm-Size Earnings Differentials and Labor Market Segmentation in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 132-156, June.
  13. Kato, Takao, 2001. "The End of Lifetime Employment in Japan?: Evidence from National Surveys and Field Research," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 489-514, December.
  14. Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 322-35, March.
  15. Clark, Robert L & Ogawa, Naohiro, 1992. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 336-45, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kato, Takao, 2011. "Long-term Employment and Job Security over the Last Twenty-Five Years: A Comparative Study of Japan and the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 6183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sebastien Lechevalier & Cyrille Dossougoin & Christophe Hurlin & Satoko Takaoka, 2014. "How did the Japanese Employment System Change?Investigating the Heterogeneity of Downsizing Practices across Firms," KIER Working Papers 883, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  3. NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2011. "Career Experience Replaced: Emergence of Japanese Internal Labor Markets," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f157, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised 27 Jun 2014.
  4. Genda, Yuji & Kuroda, Sachiko & Ohta, Souichi, 2011. "Does downsizing take a toll on retained staff? An analysis of increased working hours during recessions using Japanese micro data," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 510, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Laurence M. Ball & Daniel Leigh & Prakash Loungani, 2013. "Okun's Law: Fit at Fifty?," NBER Working Papers 18668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nakabayashi, Masaki, 2011. "Schooling, employer learning, and internal labor market effect: Wage dynamics and human capital investment in the Japanese steel industry, 1930-1960s," MPRA Paper 30597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Nguyen, Pascal, 2012. "The impact of foreign investors on the risk-taking of Japanese firms," MPRA Paper 38991, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Ueno, Yuko, 2013. "Declining long-term employment in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 19-36.
  9. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kato, Takao, 2012. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and the Great Recession: Lessons from Japan's Lost Decade," IZA Discussion Papers 6666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Chiaki Moriguchi, 2008. "Top Wage Incomes in Japan, 1951-2005," NBER Working Papers 14537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. KAWAGUCHI Daiji & MORI Yuko, 2014. "Winning the Race against Technology," Discussion papers 14017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  12. repec:hit:hcfrwp:2 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Kubo, Katsuyuki & Saito, Takuji, 2012. "The effect of mergers on employment and wages: Evidence from Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 263-284.
  14. Satoshi Shimizutani & Izumi Yokoyama, 2006. "Has Japan's Long-term employment Practice Survived? New Evidence Emerging Since the 1990s," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-182, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  15. repec:eti:dpaper:13029 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2011. "Acquired Skills and Learned Abilities: Wage Dynamics in Internal Labor Markets," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f153, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised 13 Apr 2014.

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