How Does the First Job Matter for an Individual’s Career Life in Japan?
Exploiting annual career records of female workers constructed from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC), this paper examines how the first job matters for an individual’s future job career. Using the regional unemployment rate in the year of graduation as an instrument for the first job status (i.e., regular job or not), we confirm that an individual’s first job status matters significantly for the future job status even for female workers in Japan, although the effect gradually declines over the years and effectively disappears within around ten years from graduation. However, the observed first job effect appears to depend on the post-graduation career path taken by an individual, in the sense that someone who was unsuccessful during the first job hunt at the time of graduation can make up for the negative effect if she is lucky enough to secure a job as a regular employee within a reasonable time period.
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