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Do Japanese Work Shorter Hours than before?: Measuring Trends in Market Work and Leisure Using 1976-2006 Japanese Time-Use Survey

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  • Kuroda, Sachiko

Abstract

Using Japanese time-use data from the Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities (STULA), this paper measures trends in average hours worked (market work) and leisure for Japanese over the past three decades. OECD reports at least a 15 percent decline in market work for Japan since the 1970s. However, holding demographic changes constant, we found that market work per week increased from the 1970s until mid 1980s, and has been relatively stable for the last two decades for both male and female full-time workers. Furthermore, although the market work per week remained relatively constant since the mid 1980s, we found a significant change in the allocation of time to market work within the week during the period. Specifically, when dividing samples into weekdays (Monday through Friday) and weekends (Saturday and Sunday), average hours spent for market work per weekday among full-time males increased by 0.4 hour since the mid 1980s, whereas a significant decline in market work on Saturday was observed. This suggests that people shifted their work time from Saturday to weekdays in response to the reduced work week introduced by the amendment of the Labour Standards Act at the end of 1980s. In the meantime, commuting time and home production had decreased by 3 hours since the mid-1980s for full-time female workers, indicating that the average hours of leisure had increased for females even though market work remained the same. Interestingly, however, hours for sleep declined consistently over the last three decades, resulting in a 3-4 hour reduction per week for both male and female workers. Lastly, a comparison of Japanese and US time use data suggests that Japanese work much longer than their American counterparts. On average, Japanese males work 8.6 hours longer per week, and Japanese females 6.5 hours longer, than Americans, even after adjusting for demographic differences between the countries.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/17113/1/pie_dp419.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PIE/CIS Discussion Paper with number 419.

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Length: 44 p.
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:piecis:419

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  1. Michael Burda & Daniel S. Hamermesh & Philippe Weil, 2007. "Total Work, Gender and Social Norms," NBER Working Papers 13000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen J. Trejo, 2000. "The Demand for Hours of Labor: Direct Evidence from California," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 38-47, February.
  4. Valerie Ramey & Neville Francis, 2006. "A Century of Work and Leisure," Working Papers id:546, eSocialSciences.
  5. Kobayashi, Keiichiro & Inaba, Masaru, 2006. "Business cycle accounting for the Japanese economy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 418-440, December.
  6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades," Working Papers 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2000. "Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls," IZA Discussion Papers 173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2007. "New Evidence On Real Wage Cyclicality Within Employer-Employee Matches," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 648-660, November.
  9. Crépon, Bruno & Kramarz, Francis, 2000. "Employed 40 Hours or Not Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek," CEPR Discussion Papers 2358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  11. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 206-235, January.
  12. Bell, D. & Hart, R.A., 1998. "Unpaid Work," Working Papers Series 9803, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    • Bell, David N F & Hart, Robert A, 1999. "Unpaid Work," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 271-90, May.
  13. Taizo Motonishi & Hirshi Yoshikawa, 1999. "Causes of the Long Stagnation of Japan During the 1990s: Financial or Real?," NBER Working Papers 7351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  15. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1989. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 2988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Has Work-Sharing Worked In Germany?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 117-148, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Lee, Jungmin & Kawaguchi, Daiji & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2011. "Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time," IZA Discussion Papers 6199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Work Hours in Chinese Enterprises: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 10-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Jungmin & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2013. "A gift of time," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 205-216.
  5. Kohei Daido & Ken Tabata, 2013. "Social Norms on Working Hours, Work-Life Balance, and Fertility Choice," Discussion Paper Series 108, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Sep 2013.
  6. Yukawa, Shiho, 2012. "教養娯楽価格が出産に与える影響
    [The Effect of Recreational Goods Price on Fertility]
    ," MPRA Paper 35808, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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