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Minimum wage in a deflationary economy: The Japanese experience, 1994–2003

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  • Kambayashi, Ryo
  • Kawaguchi, Daiji
  • Yamada, Ken

Abstract

The statutory minimum wage in Japan has increased continuously for a few decades until the early 2000s even during a period of deflation. This paper examines the impact of the minimum wage on wage and employment outcomes under this unusual circumstance. We find that the minimum-wage increase resulted in the compression of the lower tail of the wage distribution among women and that the wage compression is only partially attributable to the loss of employment. The continuous increase in the minimum wage accounts for one half of the reduction in lower-tail inequality that occurred among women during the period between 1994 and 2003.

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  • Kambayashi, Ryo & Kawaguchi, Daiji & Yamada, Ken, 2013. "Minimum wage in a deflationary economy: The Japanese experience, 1994–2003," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 264-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:264-276
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.09.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Mr. Giovanni Ganelli & Ms. Chie Aoyagi, 2013. "The Path to Higher Growth: Does Revamping Japan’s Dual Labor Market Matter?," IMF Working Papers 2013/202, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Daiji Kawaguchi & Yuko Mori, 2009. "Is Minimum Wage An Effective Anti‐Poverty Policy In Japan?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 532-554, October.
    3. Yoshio Higuchi, 2013. "The Dynamics of Poverty and the Promotion of Transition from Non-Regular to Regular Employment in Japan: Economic Effects of Minimum Wage Revision and Job Training Support," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 147-200, June.
    4. Kyota Eguchi, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Trainers' Dilemma," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(2), pages 128-138, June.
    5. Yokoyama, Izumi & Kodama, Naomi & Higuchi, Yoshio, 2019. "Inequality through wage response to the business cycle–Evidence from the FFL decomposition method," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 87-98.
    6. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
    7. Katalin Bodnár & Ludmila Fadejeva & Stefania Iordache & Liina Malk & Desislava Paskaleva & Jurga Pesliakaitė & Nataša Todorović Jemec & Peter Tóth & Robert Wyszyński, 2018. "How do firms adjust to rises in the minimum wage? Survey evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-30, December.
    8. Majchrowska, Aleksandra & Strawiński, Paweł, 2018. "Impact of minimum wage increase on gender wage gap: Case of Poland," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 174-185.
    9. KAWAGUCHI Daiji & MORI Yuko, 2014. "Winning the Race against Technology," Discussion papers 14017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    10. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Mori, Yuko, 2021. "Estimating the effects of the minimum wage using the introduction of indexation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 388-408.
    11. Mika Akesaka & Koyo Miyoshi, 2018. "Wage Inequality during the Long-term Stagnation in Japan: Changes within and between Establishments," ISER Discussion Paper 1045, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Yamada, Ken, 2016. "Tracing the impact of large minimum wage changes on household welfare in Indonesia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 287-303.
    13. Aoyagi, Chie & Ganelli, Giovanni, 2015. "Does revamping Japan's dual labor market matter?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 339-357.
    14. Ken Yamada & Daiji Kawaguchi, 2012. "Changing Unchanged Inequality: Higher Education, Youth Population, and the Japan's Seniority Wages," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-243, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    15. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2017. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Male and Female Employment and Earnings in India," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 34(1), pages 28-64, March.
    16. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Mori, Yuko, 2016. "Why has wage inequality evolved so differently between Japan and the US? The role of the supply of college-educated workers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 29-50.
    17. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2019. "Minimum Wages and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Policy Discussion Papers 19015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Yamagishi, Atsushi, 2021. "Minimum wages and housing rents: Theory and evidence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    19. Okudaira, Hiroko & Takizawa, Miho & Yamanouchi, Kenta, 2019. "Minimum wage effects across heterogeneous markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 110-122.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; Wage inequality; Employment loss; Truncated distribution; Deflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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