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Japan's Long-Term Employment Practice Survived? Developments Since the 1990s

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  • Satoshi Shimizutani
  • Izumi Yokoyama

Abstract

Japan’s traditional long-term employment practice, loosely termed “lifetime employment,” once attracted much attention, but its fortunes have not been tracked since the 1990s. The authors use micro data from the Japanese government’s Basic Survey on Wage Structure to estimate permanent full-time workers’ tenure patterns in the years during and following Japan’s decade-long recession. Mean tenure, they find, grew for both genders between 1990 and 2003. The main explanation for this trend was a changing relationship between tenure and the attributes of workers and firms, rather than changes in the attributes themselves---although the importance of the latter increased for some women. Beyond the tendency at the mean, the authors find substantial variation. Notably, workers who had gained employment protection under the traditional system, mostly in large firms, saw larger gains in mean tenure than did other workers. This divergence, the authors suggest, could eventually exacerbate lifetime income inequality in Japan.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 313-326

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:62:y:2009:i:3:p:313-326

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Shimizutani, Satoshi, 2011. "A new anatomy of the retirement process in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 141-152.
  3. Junya Hamaaki & Masahiro Hori & Saeko Maeda & Keiko Murata, 2012. "Changes in the Japanese Employment System in the Two Lost Decades," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(4), pages 810-846, October.
  4. 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).
  5. SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi & OSHIO Takashi, 2013. "Revisiting the Labor Supply Effect of Social Security Earnings Test: New evidence from its elimination and reinstatement in Japan," Discussion papers 13016, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  6. SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2013. "Social Security Earnings Test and the Labor Supply of the Elderly: New evidence from unique survey responses in Japan," Discussion papers 13017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. Shimizutani, Satoshi & Oshio, Takashi, 2009. "New Evidence on Initial Transition from Career Job to Retirement in Japan," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 430, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. ICHIMURA Hidehiko & SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2011. "Retirement Process in Japan: New evidence from Japanese Study on Aging and Retirement (JSTAR)," Discussion papers 11080, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi & FUJII Mayu & OSHIO Takashi, 2012. "Option Value of Work, Health Status, and Retirement Decisions: New evidence from the Japanese Study on Aging and Retirement (JSTAR)," Discussion papers 12050, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  10. 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.

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