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Confronting Income Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Causes, Consequences, and Reform

Author

Listed:
  • Toshiaki Tachibanaki

    () (Kyoto Institute of Economics, Kyoto University)

Abstract

Contrary to general belief, and to Japan's own self-image, inequality of income and wealth distribution in Japan has grown in the past two decades. In this well-written and accessible book, Toshiaki Tachibanaki analyzes the movement toward more income inequality in Japan and offers policy recommendations to counter the trend. Tachibanaki, Japan's leading expert on income distribution, draws on new statistical data covering wealth, inheritance, farm and business holdings, salary, and other relevant factors, to demonstrate that Japan can no longer be thought of as a "90 percent middle-class society." The book, updated and substantially expanded from Tachibanaki's 1998 Japanese bestseller, discusses the history and the causes of Japan's increasing income inequality and analyzes the effect on wealth distribution of intergenerational transfer. Employing cross-national comparisons to the United States and Europe throughout, Confronting Income Inequality in Japan examines the contrast between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, evaluates equality of opportunity in terms of education and occupation, analyzes the relationship between income distribution and income growth, discusses the role of hierarchical positions in organizations, and considers the differences between welfare states and nonwelfare states. Concluding with policy recommendations, Tachibanaki argues against the belief of some economists that greater inequality is unavoidable if Japan is to achieve a strong economic recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262201585
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    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Shin, Inyong & Kim, Hyunho & Yamamura, Eiji, 2008. "Technological Progress and the Future of Kuznets Curve's," MPRA Paper 18866, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hiroatsu Nohara, 2007. "La novation de l'économie politique au Japon : la victoire de Koizumi à l'automne 2005 marquera-t-elle le tournant d'une social-démocratie souterraine à une social-démocratie citoyenne," Post-Print halshs-00009793, HAL.
    4. Mohamed Abdel-Ghany, 2008. "Problematic Progress in Asia: Growing Older and Apart," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 549-569, December.
    5. Hideki Nakamura, 2013. "Wages of regular and irregular workers, the price of education, and income inequality," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(4), pages 517-533, December.
    6. Nishino, Haruhisa & Kakamu, Kazuhiko, 2015. "A random walk stochastic volatility model for income inequality," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 21-28.
    7. Lockwood, Benjamin B. & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2015. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in preferences and optimal redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 74-80.
    8. Kazuki Tomioka & Rod Tyers, 2016. "Has Foreign Growth Contributed to Stagnation and Inequality in Japan?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 16-14, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    9. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Government Size and Trust," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 70(1), pages 31-56, December.
    10. Masakatsu Okubo, 2015. "Earnings Dynamics and Profile Heterogeneity: Estimates from Japanese Panel Data," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 112-146, March.
    11. Inyong SHIN & Eiji YAMAMURA & Hyunho KIM, 2012. "The Cubic Form Hypothesis And The Flying Geese Pattern Hypothesis Of Income Distribution: The Case Of Korea," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 7(3), pages 5-23, August.
    12. Corgnet, Brice & Sutan, Angela & Veszteg, Róbert F., 2011. "My teammate, myself and I: Experimental evidence on equity and equality norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 347-355, August.
    13. Shin, Inyong, 2012. "Income inequality and economic growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2049-2057.
    14. Nagayasu, Jun, 2010. "Domestic Capital Mobility: A Panel Data Approach," MPRA Paper 27720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz, 2013. "Exploring Pluralist Economics: The Case of the Minsky-Veblen Cycles," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 515-524.
    16. Yannick Kalantzis & Ryo Kambayashi & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2012. "Wage and Productivity Differentials in Japan: The Role of Labor Market Mechanisms," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 26(4), pages 514-541, December.
    17. Richard V. Burkhauser & Takashi Oshio & Ludmila Rovba, 2008. "How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed Over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(1), pages 87-109, March.
    18. Benjamin B. Lockwood & Matthew Weinzierl, 2012. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in Preferences and Optimal Redistribution," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-063, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2014.
    19. Konow, James & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Akai, Kenju, 2016. "Equity versus Equality," MPRA Paper 75376, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Moriguchi, Chiaki, 2010. "Top wage incomes in Japan, 1951-2005," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-333, September.
    21. Kawaguchi, Akira & Mizuno, Keizo, 2011. "Deregulation and labour earnings: Three motor carrier industries in Japan," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 441-452, August.
    22. Hayashi, Takashi, 2015. "Measuring rural–urban disparity with the Genuine Progress Indicator: A case study in Japan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 260-271.
    23. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, 2006. "Inequality And Poverty In Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(1), pages 1-27.
    24. Sebastien Lechevalier, 2009. "Cargill, T. F., Sakamoto, T.: Japan Since 1980," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 98(2), pages 181-184, November.
    25. repec:bpj:conjap:v:22:y:2010:i:1-2:p:137-152:n:9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Japan; income inequality; wealth distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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