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Unequal Japan: Conservative Corporatism and Labour Market Disparities


  • Ji-Whan Yun


The majority of the literature on the increasing labour market disparities in Japan has attributed the trend to changing market circumstances or new government policies. However, this article claims that widening income disparities, especially between regular and non-regular workers, are more deeply rooted in the nature of Japan's policy-making mechanism. Combining industrial actors' "conservative" orientation towards dual labour markets and their "corporatist" interactions for policy making, this article argues that Japan's disparity problem has originated from its '"conservative corporatism"'. The article presents the manner in which conservative corporatism has widened the disparities in employment security and welfare benefits. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Ji-Whan Yun, 2010. "Unequal Japan: Conservative Corporatism and Labour Market Disparities," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 1-25, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:1-25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, 2006. "Inequality And Poverty In Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(1), pages 1-27.
    2. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, 2005. "Confronting Income Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Causes, Consequences, and Reform," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201585, January.
    3. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huiyan Fu, 2016. "From ‘Entering into a Firm’ to ‘Entering into a Profession’: An Anthropological Approach to Changing Personhood in Japan," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 552-573, September.
    2. Saori Shibata, 2016. "Resisting Japan's Neoliberal Model of Capitalism: Intensification and Change in Contemporary Patterns of Class Struggle," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 496-521, September.

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