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Does a Bad Start Lead to a Bad Finish in Japan?


  • Takayama, Noriyuki
  • Shiraishi, Kousuke


There has been a growing concern about “Bad Start, Bad Finish (BS/BF)” issues in European countries for the last decade. Many young persons make a bad start to their working career and remain as atypical workers for long periods, being anticipated to reach retirement age with inadequate social security pension benefits. What about the case of Japan? In this paper, we discuss whether the BS/BF problem is as serious in Japan. The data set used is the 2011 Longitudinal Survey on Employment and Fertility (LOSEF): An Internet Version. The survey represents a sample of 3893 individuals aged 30-49 (born between November 1961 and October 1981). It contains long-term retrospective panel data of around 160,000 observations transcribed from the special Social Security Statements (the Japanese version of “Orange Letter”) issued by the Social Insurance Agency in fiscal 2009. Our provisional findings in this paper confirm that the BS/BF issue is currently as serious in Japan as in European countries. For young workers of the current generation, the proportions of BS have been increasing up to around 40% (females) and 32% (males) respectively, and the BF risk for current young BS persons will be around 90% (females) and a little more than 50% (males) respectively. Their incidence of poverty after retirement is likely to become quite problematic.

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  • Takayama, Noriyuki & Shiraishi, Kousuke, 2012. "Does a Bad Start Lead to a Bad Finish in Japan?," CIS Discussion paper series 547, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:cisdps:547

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hamaaki, Junya & Hori, Masahiro & Maeda, Saeko & Murata, Keiko, 2013. "How does the first job matter for an individual’s career life in Japan?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 154-169.
    2. Takayama, Noriyuki, 2005. "Pension Reform in Japan," Discussion Paper 253, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. Boeri, Tito & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Is Social Security Secure with NDC?," IZA Discussion Papers 5235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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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. Piotr Lewandowski & Jakub Sawulski & Kamil Stronski, 2016. "Labour market segmentation and the financial situation of the pension system in Poland," IBS Working Papers 10/2016, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    3. Fujii, Mayu & Shiraishi, Kousuke & Takayama, Noriyuki, 2013. "The Determinants and Effects of Early Job Separation in Japan," CIS Discussion paper series 590, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Takayama, Noriyuki, 2013. "Closing the Gap between the Retirement Age and the Normal Pensionable Age in Japan," CIS Discussion paper series 583, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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