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Wage and Productivity differentials in Japan. The Role of Labor Market Mechanisms

  • Kalantzis, Y.
  • Kambayashi, R.
  • Lechevalier, S.

This paper aims at explaining two stylized facts of the Lost Decade in Japan: rising wage inequalities and increasing firm-level productivity differentials. We build a model where firms can choose between efficiency wages with endogenous effort and competitive wages, and show that it can replicate those facts. Using Japanese microeconomic data, we find support for the existence of efficiency wages in one group of firms and competitive wages in the other group. Based on those results, a simulation shows that the share of firms using efficiency wages has declined, within sectors, during the Lost Decade, as predicted by the model.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 399.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:399
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Keiko Ito & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2009. "The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms: a reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 405-429, October.
  2. Kyoji Fukao & Hyeog Ug Kwon, 2004. "Why Did Japan's TFP Growth Slow Down in the Lost Decade?: An Empirical Analysis Based on Firm-Level Data of Manufacturing Firms," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-50, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Giulia Faggio & Kjell G. Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2007. "The evolution of inequality in productivity and wages: panel data evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4558, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," NBER Working Papers 7465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  8. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "Testing Dual Labor Market Theory: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408, November.
  11. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
  12. Scott M. Fuess & Meghan Millea, 2002. "Do Employers Pay Efficiency Wages? Evidence from Japan," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(2), pages 278-292, April.
  13. Susan N. Houseman & Katharine G. Abraham, . "Female Workers as a Buffer in the Japanese Economy," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snhkga1993, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  14. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  15. Leonardi, Marco, 2003. "Firm Heterogeneity in Capital/Labor Ratios and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 909, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  17. Oi, Walter Y, 1983. "Heterogeneous Firms and the Organization of Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 147-71, April.
  18. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
  19. Ryo Kambayashi & Daiji Kawaguchi & Izumi Yokoyama, 2008. "Wage distribution in Japan, 1989-2003," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1329-1350, November.
  20. 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, June.
  21. Masahiro Abe & Isao Ohashi, 2004. "Inter-Industry and Firm Size Effects on Wage Differentials and Efficiency Wages in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-25, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  22. Stephen Machin, 2008. "An Appraisal of Economic Research on Changes in Wage Inequality," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 7-26, 06.
  23. Antoine Valeyre, 2004. "Forms of Work Intensification and Economic Performance in French Manufacturing," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 643-658, Fall.
  24. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  25. Adam S. Posen & Ryoichi Mikitani (ed.), 2000. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Its Parallels to U. S. Experience," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr13, December.
  26. Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2004. "Is the Swiss Labor Market Segmented? An Analysis Using Alternative Approaches," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(1), pages 131-161, 03.
  27. Kato, Takao, 2001. "The End of Lifetime Employment in Japan?: Evidence from National Surveys and Field Research," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 489-514, December.
  28. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  29. Adam S. Posen & Ryoichi Mikitani (ed.), 2000. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Its Parallels to U. S. Experience," Peterson Institute Press: Special Reports, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr13, July.
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