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Why Has the Fraction of Contingent Workers Increased? A case study of Japan

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  • ASANO Hirokatsu
  • ITO Takahiro
  • KAWAGUCHI Daiji

Abstract

The fraction of contingent workers among all workers in Japan increased from 17% in 1986 to some 34% in 2008. This paper investigates the reason for this secular trend. Both demand and supply increases of contingent workers relative to regular workers are important, as evidenced by the stable relative wage to regular workers. The increase of female labor-force participation explains the supply increase, and the change of industrial composition explains the demand increase. These compositional changes explain about one quarter of the increase of contingent workers. Uncertainty surrounding product demand and the introduction of information and communication technologies increase firms' usage of contingent workers, but its quantitative effect is limited. These findings suggest that the declining importance of firm-specific human capital is a probable cause for the increase of contingent workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 11021.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:11021

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  1. Julen ESTEBAN-PRETEL & NAKAJIMA Ryo & TANAKA Ryuichi, 2009. "Are Contingent Jobs Dead Ends or Stepping Stones to Regular Jobs? Evidence from a Structural Estimation," Discussion papers 09002, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Reiko Aoki, 2013. "A Demographic Perspective on Japan's “Lost Decades”," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 38, pages 103-112, 02.
  2. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kato, Takao, 2013. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and the Great Recession: Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 41, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Esteban-Pretel, Julen & Fujimoto, Junichi, 2012. "Life-cycle search, match quality and Japan’s labor market," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 326-350.
  4. Chie Aoyagi & Giovanni Ganelli, 2013. "The Path to Higher Growth," IMF Working Papers 13/202, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Ayumu Tanaka, 2012. "The Causal Effects of Exporting on Domestic Workers:A Firm-Level Analysis using Japanese Data," Discussion papers e-11-009, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University.
  6. TANAKA Ayumu, 2012. "The Causal Effects of Exporting on Japanese Workers: A firm-level analysis," Discussion papers 12017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. Aoki, Reiko, 2012. "Japan’s Demographics and the Lost Decades," CIS Discussion paper series 561, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. MATSUURA Toshiyuki, 2013. "Why Did Manufacturing Firms Increase the Number of Non-regular Workers in the 2000s? Does international trade matter?," Discussion papers 13036, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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