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Japanese Labour in the 1990s: Stability and Stagnation

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  • Genda, Yuji
  • Rebick, Marcus E

Abstract

We review the state of the labour market and employment practices in Japan over the past 15 years and try to evaluate the nature of the changes that have been occurring. We also look at how government policy has reacted to the conditions in the labour market and what implications this has for the future. Although there has been a continual shift of resources away from manufacturing and agriculture into services, employment practices have not been changing so rapidly, and job protection is actually stronger. This, along with wage restraint, accounts for why unemployment has only increased by some 2.5 percentage points during almost a decade of stagnation. We also note that much government policy has acted to maintain existing employment practices and that labour economists are divided as to whether or not this is a good thing. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Genda, Yuji & Rebick, Marcus E, 2000. "Japanese Labour in the 1990s: Stability and Stagnation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 85-102, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:16:y:2000:i:2:p:85-102
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    Cited by:

    1. Satoshi Shimizutani & Izumi Yokoyama, 2006. "Has Japan's Long-term employment Practice Survived? New Evidence Emerging Since the 1990s," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-182, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Robert F. Owen, 2008. "Human Capital and Economic Growth: Dynamic Implications of Insider-outsider Problem for Macroeconomics," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 4(1), pages 133-158, December.
    3. Osada Takeshi & Onji Kazuki & Vera David, 2017. "Banks Restructuring Sonata: How Capital Injection Triggered Labor Force Rejuvenation in Japanese Banks," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-25.
    4. Joost van Acht & Joop Stam & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul, 2004. "Business Ownership and Unemployment in Japan," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Abe, Naohito & Shimizutani, Satoshi, 2007. "Employment policy and corporate governance-- An empirical comparison of the stakeholder and the profit-maximization model," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 346-368, June.
    6. HAMAAKI Junya & HORI Masahiro & MAEDA Saeko & MURATA Keiko, 2010. "Is the Japanese employment system degenerating? Evidence from the Basic Survey on Wage Structure," ESRI Discussion paper series 232, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. W. R. Garside, 2012. "Japan’s Great Stagnation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14624, April.
    8. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul & Lendert Baljeu, 2007. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Unemployment in Japan," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-080/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 14 Jul 2008.
    9. Genda, Yuji, 2011. "Where does non-regular employment go? Some evidences from Japan," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 507, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    10. Sebastien Lechevalier & Cyrille Dossougoin & Christophe Hurlin & Satoko Takaoka, 2014. "How did the Japanese Employment System Change?Investigating the Heterogeneity of Downsizing Practices across Firms," KIER Working Papers 883, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen, 2001. "The Great Recession: Lessons for Macroeconomic Policy from Japan," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 93-186.

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