IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Workers' Mental Health and Firm Performance: Evidence from firms' longitudinal data in Japan (Japanese)


  • KURODA Sachiko
  • YAMAMOTO Isamu


Using firms' longitudinal data, this paper investigates the relationship among workers' mental health, firms' profit and productivity, and preventive measures at the workplace. In Japan, the number of workers suffering from mental disorders has grown significantly in this decade. From the advice given by the Japanese government, firms have introduced various preventive measures to cope with this problem. To our knowledge, however, there is almost no cost-and-benefit quantitative analysis when implementing such measures. Furthermore, there is also no evidence, besides numerous literature focusing on presenteeism and absenteeism, to assess to what extent firms' profit and productivity are affected when there are workers with mental disorders at the workplace. By using data from 451 Japanese firms with rich information related to mental health and firm performance, we found the following. First, we found that medium-sized firms (300-999 employees), the information technology industry, and firms with relatively longer average work hours tend to have a higher ratio of workers taking long-term sick leave due to mental disorders. Second, many firms seem to be reluctant to introduce costly measures, such as hiring occupational doctors or nurses and screening surveys. Third, we found that, in general, introducing firm-level measures does not decrease the ratio significantly. Fourth, firms with a higher ratio of such workers may decrease their profit-to-sales ratio compared to those with a lower ratio with more than a two-year lag. This implies that the ratio of workers taking long-term sick leave due to mental disorders may become a proxy of bad workplace management and also a leading indicator of a firm's future profit/loss situation.

Suggested Citation

  • KURODA Sachiko & YAMAMOTO Isamu, 2014. "Workers' Mental Health and Firm Performance: Evidence from firms' longitudinal data in Japan (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese) 14021, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:rdpsjp:14021

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Castro, Lucio & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Saslavsky, Daniel, 2006. "The impact of trade with China and India on Argentina’s manufacturing employment," MPRA Paper 538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Auer, Raphael & Fischer, Andreas M., 2010. "The effect of low-wage import competition on U.S. inflationary pressure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 491-503, May.
    3. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, January.
    4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
    5. Álvarez, Roberto & Claro, Sebastián, 2009. "David Versus Goliath: The Impact of Chinese Competition on Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 560-571, March.
    6. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2003. "The impact of import competition on Japanese manufacturing employment," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 118-133, June.
    7. Maria Guadalupe & Julie M. Wulf, 2008. "The Flattening Firm and Product Market Competition: The Effect of Trade Liberalization," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-067, Harvard Business School.
    8. Greenaway, David & Gullstrand, Joakim & Kneller, Richard, 2008. "Surviving globalisation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 264-277, March.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Anna Maria MAYDA & NAKANE Masato & STEINBERG, Chad & YAMADA Hiroyuki, 2012. "Exposure to Low-wage Country Imports and the Growth of Japanese Manufacturing Plants," Discussion papers 12038, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:rdpsjp:14021. 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: (KUMAGAI, Akiko). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.