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Working Hours in Japan: Who Is Time-Privileged?

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Author Info

  • Fuess, Jr., Scott M.

    ()
    (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)

Abstract

In the U.S. the relationship between hours worked and employee earnings has been reversed. Whereas the highest earners used to work the shortest hours, now they work the longest hours. This study examines whether such a reversal has occurred elsewhere, namely, Japan. Since the early 1990s the Japanese government has sought to transform the country into a “lifestyle superpower” by trying to encourage more daily time for leisure and less time on the job. Analyzing data for 1976-2003, it is clear that scheduled and actual working hours did indeed fall after 1990. During the early years of the sample, 1976-89, the highest earners also worked the shortest hours, that is, high income workers were time-privileged. As working hours fell in the 1990s, the time privileges of the highest earners changed too. Specifically, the highest earners gained time advantages relative to the lowest earners but lost some advantages relative to the median.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2195.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2195

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Related research

Keywords: time allocation and labor supply; wage level and structure; country studies: Japan;

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Cited by:
  1. Jiun-Nan Pan & Kuang-Ta Lo & Jr-Tsung Huang, 2008. "Are Rich Earners Time-Privileged in Taiwan? The Evidence from 1981 to 2006," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 584-600, December.
  2. Pablo, Agnese, 2009. "Employment effects of offshoring. An application to Japanese industries, 1980-2005," MPRA Paper 16506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pablo, Agnese & Hector, Sala, 2008. "Unemployment in Japan: A look at the ‘lost decade’," MPRA Paper 14332, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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