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Effect of Work-Life Balance Practices on Firm Productivity: Evidence from Japanese firm-level panel data

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  • YAMAMOTO Isamu
  • MATSUURA Toshiyuki

Abstract

This paper examines how firm practices that could contribute to worker attainment of work-life balance (WLB) affect the total factor productivity (TFP) of a firm, by using panel data of Japanese firms from the 1990s. We observed a positive correlation between the WLB practices and TFP among sampled firms. However, that correlation vanished when we controlled for unobserved firm heterogeneity, and we found no general causal relationship in which WLB practices increase firm TFP in the medium or long run. For firms with the following characteristicsmdash;large, manufacturing, and have exhibited labor hoarding during recessionsmdash;we found positive and sizable effects. Since these firms are likely to incur large fixed employment costs, we infer that firms investing in firm-specific human skills or having large hiring/firing costs can benefit from WLB practices through a decrease in turnover or an increase in recruiting effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • YAMAMOTO Isamu & MATSUURA Toshiyuki, 2012. "Effect of Work-Life Balance Practices on Firm Productivity: Evidence from Japanese firm-level panel data," Discussion papers 12079, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:12079
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2010. "Labor unions and productivity: An empirical analysis using Japanese firm-level data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 1030-1037, December.
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    6. Nick Bloom & Tobias Kretschmer & John Van Reenan, 2009. "Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity," NBER Chapters, in: International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, pages 15-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2007. "A market test for sex discrimination: Evidence from Japanese firm-level panel data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 441-460, June.
    8. Matthew Gray & Jacqueline Tudball, 2004. "Family-friendly work practices: differences within and between workplaces," Labor and Demography 0405003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Amil Petrin & James Levinsohn, 2012. "Measuring aggregate productivity growth using plant-level data," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 705-725, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Broszeit, Sandra & Laible, Marie-Christine, 2017. "Examining the link between health measures, management practices and establishment performance," IAB Discussion Paper 201726, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Wang-Jin Yoo & Inha Oh, 2017. "Effect of Work-Family Balance Policy on Job Selection and Social Sustainability: The Case of South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(5), pages 1-15, May.
    3. Sachiko Kuroda & Isamu Yamamoto, 2019. "Why Do People Overwork at the Risk of Impairing Mental Health?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(5), pages 1519-1538, June.
    4. 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).
    5. Kawaguchi, Akira, 2015. "Internal labor markets and gender inequality: Evidence from Japanese micro data, 1990–2009," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 193-213.
    6. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2018. "Good boss, bad boss, workers’ mental health and productivity: Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 106-118.

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