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Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the gender wage gap in Japan: A cohort analysis

  • Abe, Yukiko

In this article, I perform a cohort-based analysis of the female-to-male wage gap using aggregate data in Japan from 1975 to 2005. While the inter-cohort closing in the gender wage gap is apparent, the convergence is smaller when the gap is calculated for each level of education. This pattern suggests that a certain portion of the gender wage convergence is due to changes in the educational composition of the workforce. I find that educational composition changes played a larger role in closing the pay gap for younger cohorts than it did for older cohorts. Highly educated women who entered the labor market after the enactment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law gained in that they had more regular full-time employment but did not experience wage gains relative to their male counterparts.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 142-155

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Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:21:y:2010:i:2:p:142-155
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/asieco

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  1. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990s: Slowing Convergence," IZA Discussion Papers 2176, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 1997. "The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," NBER Working Papers 6167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-003, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
  4. 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.
  5. O'Neill, June & Polachek, Solomon, 1993. "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-28, January.
  6. KAWAGUCHI Daiji & NAITO Hisahiro, 2006. "The Bound Estimate of the Gender Wage Convergence under Employment Compositional Change," ESRI Discussion paper series 161, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor-Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 20-47, January.
  8. Edwards, Linda N., 1994. "The status of women in Japan: Has the equal employment opportunity law made a difference?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 217-240.
  9. Linda N. Edwards, 1988. "Equal employment opportunity in Japan: A view from the West," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(2), pages 240-250, January.
  10. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
  12. Edwards, Linda N. & Pasquale, Margaret K., 2003. "Women's higher education in Japan: Family background, economic factors, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Law," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-32, March.
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