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Why Has the Fraction of Contingent Workers Increased? A case study of Japan

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  • ASANO Hirokatsu
  • ITO Takahiro
  • KAWAGUCHI Daiji

Abstract

The fraction of contingent workers among all workers in Japan increased from 17% in 1986 to some 34% in 2008. This paper investigates the reason for this secular trend. Both demand and supply increases of contingent workers relative to regular workers are important, as evidenced by the stable relative wage to regular workers. The increase of female labor-force participation explains the supply increase, and the change of industrial composition explains the demand increase. These compositional changes explain about one quarter of the increase of contingent workers. Uncertainty surrounding product demand and the introduction of information and communication technologies increase firms' usage of contingent workers, but its quantitative effect is limited. These findings suggest that the declining importance of firm-specific human capital is a probable cause for the increase of contingent workers.

Suggested Citation

  • ASANO Hirokatsu & ITO Takahiro & KAWAGUCHI Daiji, 2011. "Why Has the Fraction of Contingent Workers Increased? A case study of Japan," Discussion papers 11021, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:11021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Reiko Aoki, 2013. "A Demographic Perspective on Japan's “Lost Decades”," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 38, pages 103-112, February.
    2. Kambayashi, Ryo & Kato, Takao, 2012. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and the Great Recession: Lessons from Japan's Lost Decade," IZA Discussion Papers 6666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Aoki, Reiko, 2012. "Japan’s Demographics and the Lost Decades," CIS Discussion paper series 561, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Aoyagi, Chie & Ganelli, Giovanni, 2015. "Does revamping Japan's dual labor market matter?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 339-357.
    5. Tanaka, Ayumu, 2013. "The causal effects of exporting on domestic workers: A firm-level analysis using Japanese data," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 13-23.
    6. MATSUURA Toshiyuki, 2013. "Why Did Manufacturing Firms Increase the Number of Non-regular Workers in the 2000s? Does international trade matter?," Discussion papers 13036, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. TANAKA Ayumu, 2012. "The Causal Effects of Exporting on Japanese Workers: A firm-level analysis," Discussion papers 12017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Davide Porcellacchia, 2016. "Wage-Price Dynamics and Structural Reforms in Japan," IMF Working Papers 16/20, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Machikita, Tomohiro & Sato, Hitoshi, 2016. "Temporary jobs and globalization," IDE Discussion Papers 585, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    10. International Monetary Fund, 2011. "Japan; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 11/182, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Chie Aoyagi & Giovanni Ganelli, 2013. "The Path to Higher Growth; Does Revamping Japan’s Dual Labor Market Matter?," IMF Working Papers 13/202, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Esteban-Pretel, Julen & Fujimoto, Junichi, 2012. "Life-cycle search, match quality and Japan’s labor market," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 326-350.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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