IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/keo/dpaper/2019-001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The middle class in Japan, 1994-2009: Trends and characteristics

Author

Listed:
  • Soichiro Tanaka

    (Department of Economics, Kanto Gakuin University)

  • Masato Shikata

    (School of policy studies, Kwansei Gakuin University)

Abstract

In this study, we estimate the population shares of the Japanese middle class during 1994-2009 and discuss its characteristics. The middle class hovered around 65% (from 67.29% in 1994 to 65.21% in 2009) of the population, having 75-200% of each year's median income. However, if we fix the income ranges of the middle class to the 1994 level, the middle class declined considerably to 59.47% in 2009, the upper class also declined, and the lower class and the poor increased. Thus, the stability of the middle class seems due to the overall decline in Japan's income distribution. In addition, the population share of the middle class among the working population (18-64 years) is larger than that among the elderly population (65 years and over). Therefore, the middle class is in danger of shrinking further as the population continues ageing. Meanwhile, population ageing also affects redistributive policies: the share of social transfers of gross income is increasing and the redistributive effect of social security is growing. Additionally, despite declining income levels, there were no major changes in the share of income tax (including social insurance premiums) on gross income. This is, in fact, assumed to be due to factors such as increased social insurance rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Soichiro Tanaka & Masato Shikata, 2019. "The middle class in Japan, 1994-2009: Trends and characteristics," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2019-001, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
  • Handle: RePEc:keo:dpaper:2019-001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ies.keio.ac.jp/upload/pdf/en/DP2019-001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
    2. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2011. "On the identification of the “middle class”," Working Papers 217, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gordon Anderson, Alessio Farcomeni, Maria Grazia Pittau and Roberto Zelli, 2019. "Multidimensional Nation Wellbeing, More Equal yet More Polarized: An Analysis of the Progress of Human Development Since 1990," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 44(1), pages 1-22, March.
    2. Çakır, Mustafa Yavuz & Kabundi, Alain, 2013. "Trade shocks from BRIC to South Africa: A global VAR analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 190-202.
    3. Bengtsson, Niklas & Holmlund, Bertil & Waldenström, Daniel, 2012. "Lifetime versus Annual Tax Progressivity: Sweden, 1968–2009," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2012:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Feldkircher, Martin & Kakamu, Kazuhiko, 2018. "How does monetary policy affect income inequality in Japan? Evidence from grouped data," Working Papers in Regional Science 2018/03, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    5. Delorme, Francois & St-Cerny, Suzie, 2014. "La classe moyenne au Québec s’érode-t-elle vraiment : Contour et évolution [Is Quebec's Middle Class Really Shrinking : Overview and Evolution]," MPRA Paper 85051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. İmrohoroğlu, Selahattin & Kitao, Sagiri & Yamada, Tomoaki, 2019. "Fiscal sustainability in Japan: What to tackle?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    7. Alain Desdoigts & Fernando Jaramillo, 2017. "Learning by Doing, Inequality, and Sustained Growth: A Middle-class Perspective," EUSP Department of Economics Working Paper Series 2017/05, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Hufe, Paul & Kanbur, Ravi & Peichl, Andreas, 2018. "Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 11601, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2016. "Globalization and Wage Polarization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 984-1000, December.
    10. Fishman, Ezra & Kimhi, Ayal, 2013. "Is the Israeli Labor Market Segmented? Revisiting the Mixture Regression Model," Discussion Papers 164512, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    11. Luis López-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2014. "A vulnerability approach to the definition of the middle class," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(1), pages 23-47, March.
    12. Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira & Nadia Simoes, 2015. "An Integrated Approach for the Measurement of Inequality, Poverty, and Richness," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(5), pages 531-555, December.
    13. Pierre Courtioux & Christine Erhel & Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, 2017. "Les classes moyennes en Europe et en France au sortir de la crise," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01539448, HAL.
    14. Haiyan Ding & Hui He, 2018. "A Tale of Transition: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in Urban China, 1986-2009," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 106-137, July.
    15. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maítre, 2016. "The Great Recession and the Changing Distribution of Economic Stress across Income Classes and the Life Course in Ireland: A Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 201603, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    16. Shinya Kajitani & Keiichi Morimoto & Shiba Suzuki, 2020. "Information feedback in relative grading: Evidence from a field experiment," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(4), pages 1-19, April.
    17. Shuhei Takahashi & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2016. "Consumption Taxes and Divisibility of Labor under Incomplete Markets," 2016 Meeting Papers 797, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Sagiri Kitao & Tomoaki Yamada, 2016. "Achieving Fiscal Balance In Japan," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 117-154, February.
    19. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2013. "Class and gender in Europe, before and during the economic crisis," Working Papers CEB 13-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    20. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2014. "Taxation and inequality in the Americas: Changing the fiscal contract?," Chapters, in: Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (ed.), Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 7, pages 193-237, Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Middle class; Income inequality; Poverty rate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

    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:keo:dpaper:2019-001. 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: (Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iekeijp.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.