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Confronting Income Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Causes, Consequences, and Reform

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  • Toshiaki Tachibanaki

    ()
    (Kyoto Institute of Economics, Kyoto University)

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    Abstract

    Contrary to general belief, and to Japan's own self-image, inequality of income and wealth distribution in Japan has grown in the past two decades. In this well-written and accessible book, Toshiaki Tachibanaki analyzes the movement toward more income inequality in Japan and offers policy recommendations to counter the trend. Tachibanaki, Japan's leading expert on income distribution, draws on new statistical data covering wealth, inheritance, farm and business holdings, salary, and other relevant factors, to demonstrate that Japan can no longer be thought of as a "90 percent middle-class society." The book, updated and substantially expanded from Tachibanaki's 1998 Japanese bestseller, discusses the history and the causes of Japan's increasing income inequality and analyzes the effect on wealth distribution of intergenerational transfer. Employing cross-national comparisons to the United States and Europe throughout, Confronting Income Inequality in Japan examines the contrast between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, evaluates equality of opportunity in terms of education and occupation, analyzes the relationship between income distribution and income growth, discusses the role of hierarchical positions in organizations, and considers the differences between welfare states and nonwelfare states. Concluding with policy recommendations, Tachibanaki argues against the belief of some economists that greater inequality is unavoidable if Japan is to achieve a strong economic recovery.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262201585 and published in 2005.

    Volume: 1
    Edition: 1
    ISBN: 0-262-20158-5
    Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262201585

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    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

    Related research

    Keywords: Japan; income inequality; wealth distribution;

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    Cited by:
    1. Kawaguchi, Akira & Mizuno, Keizo, 2011. "Deregulation and labour earnings: Three motor carrier industries in Japan," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 441-452, August.
    2. Hiroatsu Nohara, 2007. "La novation de l'économie politique au Japon : la victoire de Koizumi à l'automne 2005 marquera-t-elle le tournant d'une social-démocratie souterraine à une social-démocratie citoyenne," Post-Print halshs-00009793, HAL.
    3. Mohamed Abdel-Ghany, 2008. "Problematic Progress in Asia: Growing Older and Apart," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 549-569, December.
    4. Hideki Nakamura, 2013. "Wages of regular and irregular workers, the price of education, and income inequality," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 517-533, December.
    5. Nagayasu, Jun, 2010. "Domestic Capital Mobility: A Panel Data Approach," MPRA Paper 27720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Corgnet, Brice & Sutan, Angela & Veszteg, Róbert F., 2011. "My teammate, myself and I: Experimental evidence on equity and equality norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 347-355, August.
    7. Sebastien Lechevalier, 2009. "Cargill, T. F., Sakamoto, T.: Japan Since 1980," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 98(2), pages 181-184, November.
    8. Yamamura, Eiji & Shin, Inyong & Kim, Hyunho, 2008. "The Cubic Form Hypothesis and the Flying Geese Pattern Hypothesis of Income Distribution: The Case of Korea," MPRA Paper 10219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Moriguchi, Chiaki, 2010. "Top wage incomes in Japan, 1951-2005," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-333, September.
    10. Richard V. Burkhauser & Takashi Oshio & Ludmila Rovba, 2007. "How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 35, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Shin, Inyong & Kim, Hyunho & Yamamura, Eiji, 2008. "Technological Progress and the Future of Kuznets Curve's," MPRA Paper 18866, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Shin, Inyong, 2012. "Income inequality and economic growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2049-2057.
    13. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz, 2013. "Exploring Pluralist Economics: The Case of the Minsky-Veblen Cycles," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(2), pages 515-524, June.

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