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Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and the Great Recession: Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade

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  • Kambayashi, Ryo
  • Kato, Takao

Abstract

This paper provides novel evidence on the long-term effect of the Great Recession on the quality of jobs, in particular whether the Great Recession results in the replacement of “good jobs” (characterized by high wage/benefit, job security, and opportunity for training and development) with “bad jobs” (characterized by the lack of such attributes). Unfortunately there is not yet sufficiently long data from the recent Great Recession that enable researchers to study fully its long-term consequences for the labor market structure. To this end, we examine Japan’s Lost Decade, the original Great Recession that occurred two decades ago. First, we find no evidence for a shift of male employment toward “bad jobs” during the Lost Decade. Second, for women we find a compositional change from self-employment to nonstandard employment which is, however, found to be a shift from “bad jobs” to “bad jobs” rather than “good jobs” to “bad jobs”. As such, our findings cast doubt on the popular narrative of the long-term negative effect on job quality of the Great Recession. However, for one particular group of Japanese workers-youth, we find compelling evidence in support of the popular narrative. Especially all progresses that young women made in enhancing their share of standard employment during Japan’s high growth decade in the 1980s are found to be entirely undone during the Lost Decade. The Great Recession affects the quantity of jobs and policy makers ought to pay immediate attention to such quantity effects. However, the Great Recession may also have more long-term structural effects on the quality of jobs, and such long-term effects may be heterogeneous, concentrating on a specific group of workers such as youth.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/25790/1/No41-dp.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series with number 41.

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Length: 43 p.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:primdp:41

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Keywords: job quality; good jobs and bad jobs; the Great Recession; Lost Decade; Japan;

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References

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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).
  2. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2011. "The Longterm Effects of UI Extensions on Employment," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-064, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," NBER Working Papers 17040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Yoshifumi Nakata & Ryoji Takehiro, 2003. "Total Labor Costs and the Employment Adjustment Behavior of Large Japanese Firms," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 135-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Yuji Genda, 2003. "Who Really Lost Jobs in Japan? Youth Employment in an Aging Japanese Society," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 103-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ono, Hiroshi, 2010. "Lifetime employment in Japan: Concepts and measurements," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-27, March.
  10. Takao Kato, 2000. "The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan," NBER Working Papers 7965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & C. J. Krizan, 2010. "Mom-and-Pop Meet Big Box: Complements or Substitutes?," NBER Chapters, in: Cities and Entrepreneurship National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ogura, Seiritsu & Tachibanaki, Toshiaki & Wise, David A. (ed.), 2003. "Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226620947, янваÑ.
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