IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/eti/dpaper/15112.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Work-Life Balance Practices, Performance-Related Pay, and Gender Equality in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan

Author

Listed:
  • KATO Takao
  • KODAMA Naomi

Abstract

This paper uses unique firm-level panel data from Japan and provides new evidence on the possible impact on gender equality in the workplace of work-life balance (WLB) practices that are developed in part to enhance gender equality as well as performance-related pay (PRP) that is one of the most often discussed changes in the Japanese human resources management (HRM) system in recent years. Our fixed effect estimates indicate that daycare service assistance (onsite daycare services and daycare service allowances) has a gradual yet significant positive effect on gender equality in general as well as at the higher (management) levels. However, transition period part-time work is found to result in a decrease in the proportion of female directors (or exacerbating gender inequality in management). Turning to PRP, the fixed effect estimates suggest that a switch from the traditional wage system that rewards workers for their long-term skill development through on-the-job training within the firm to PRP that makes pay more sensitive to shorter-term performance will result in a fall in the proportion of female directors (amplifying gender inequality in management). We also find that the adverse effect on gender equality of PRP is fully mediated by having a more objective performance evaluation system; a more transparent decision making process; and a more systematic, explicit and formal training program. This finding can be interpreted as evidence pointing to gender discrimination in the workplace. In designing, developing and revising public policy instruments to achieve Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitious policy goal of "increasing the share of women in leadership positions to at least 30% by 2020 in all fields in society," policy makers may need to pay particular attention to heterogeneous efficacy of specific WLB practices and the adverse effect of PRP as well as the mediating role played by management by objectives (MBO), information sharing, and systematic training program.

Suggested Citation

  • KATO Takao & KODAMA Naomi, 2015. "Work-Life Balance Practices, Performance-Related Pay, and Gender Equality in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 15112, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:15112
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/15e112.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Asai, Yukiko, 2015. "Parental leave reforms and the employment of new mothers: Quasi-experimental evidence from Japan," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 72-83.
    2. John W. Budd & Karen Mumford, 2004. "Trade Unions and Family-Friendly Policies in Britain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 204-222, January.
    3. Abe, Yukiko, 2013. "Regional variations in labor force behavior of women in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 112-124.
    4. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    5. Chiang, Hui-Yu & Ohtake, Fumio, 2014. "Performance-pay and the gender wage gap in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 71-88.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free07-1, July.
    7. KATO Takao & KODAMA Naomi, 2015. "Performance-related Pay and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 15088, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Hiroshi Ono & Marcus Rebick, 2003. "Constraints on the Level and Efficient Use of Labor," NBER Chapters,in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 225-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    11. Ian Gregory‐Smith & Brian G.M. Main & Charles A. O'Reilly III, 2014. "Appointments, Pay and Performance in UK Boardrooms by Gender," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 109-128, February.
    12. Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2014. "Labor Market Deregulation and Female Employment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 8189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Michelle M. Arthur & Alison Cook, 2004. "Taking Stock of Work-Family Initiatives: How Announcements of “Family-Friendly†Human Resource Decisions Affect Shareholder Value," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(4), pages 599-613, July.
    14. Chad Steinberg & Masato Nakane, 2012. "Can Women Save Japan?," IMF Working Papers 12/248, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Lee, Grace H.Y. & Lee, Sing Ping, 2014. "Childcare availability, fertility and female labor force participation in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 71-85.
    16. Abe, Yukiko, 2010. "Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the gender wage gap in Japan: A cohort analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 142-155, April.
    17. Asai, Yukiko & Kambayashi, Ryo & Yamaguchi, Shintaro, 2015. "Childcare availability, household structure, and maternal employment," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 172-192.
    18. Liu, Yu & Wei, Zuobao & Xie, Feixue, 2014. "Do women directors improve firm performance in China?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 169-184.
    19. Freeman, Richard B. & Shaw, Kathryn L. (ed.), 2009. "International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226261942, June.
    20. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verner, 2013. "Why are So Few Females Promoted into CEO and Vice President Positions? Danish Empirical Evidence, 1997–2007," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(2), pages 380-408, April.
    21. Emilio J. Castilla, 2012. "Gender, Race, and the New (Merit-Based) Employment Relationship," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51, pages 528-562, April.
    22. Șerban Georgescu, 2012. "Japan," Conjunctura economiei mondiale / World Economic Studies, Institute for World Economy, Romanian Academy.
    23. Peter Berg & Ellen Ernst Kossek & Kaumudi Misra & Dale Belman, 2014. "Work-Life Flexibility Policies: Do Unions Affect Employee Access and Use?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(1), pages 111-137, January.
    24. Magnus Blomström & Jennifer Corbett & Fumio Hayashi & Anil Kashyap, 2003. "Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blom03-1, July.
    25. Richard B. Freeman & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "Introduction to "International Differences in the Business Practice and Productivity of Firms"," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, pages 1-11 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:15112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MATSUKURA, Taeko). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rietijp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.