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Job Security and Work Force Adjustment: How Different are U.S. and Japanese Practices?

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Listed:
  • Katharine G. Abraham
  • Susan N. Houseman

Abstract

This paper compares employment and hours adjustment in Japanese and U.S. manufacturing. In contrast to some previous work, we find that adjustment of total labor input to demand changes is significantly greater in the United States than in Japan; adjustment of employment is significantly greater in the United States, while that of average hours is about the same in the two countries. Although workers in Japan enjoy greater employment stability than do U.S. workers, we find considerable variability in the adjustment patterns across groups within each country. In the United States, most of the adjustment is borne by production workers. In Japan, female workers, in particular, bear a disproportionate share of adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1989. "Job Security and Work Force Adjustment: How Different are U.S. and Japanese Practices?," NBER Working Papers 3155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3155
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Freeman, Richard B. & Weitzman, Martin L., 1987. "Bonuses and employment in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 168-194, June.
    2. Hall, Robert E, 1982. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-724, September.
    3. Katharine G. Abraham & James L. Medoff, 1984. "Length of Service and Layoffs in Union and Nonunion Work Groups," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(1), pages 87-97, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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