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Pattern in Regional Labor Market Adjustment: The United States vs. Japan


  • Edward B. Montgomery


In this paper I examine regional labor market behavior in the United States and Japan. In contrast with the picture at the aggregate level, Japanese labor markets at the prefectural (regional) level appear to exhibit substantially more persistence than state level labor markets in the United States. The distribution (and positions of regions within the distribution) of wages, unemployment, employment growth, and migration remain remarkably constant in Japan for periods of up to 15 years. Although wages, unemployment, and migration appear to be driven by similar factors in both countries, wages appear to be slightly more sensitive while unemployment is less sensitive to demand shifts in Japan than in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward B. Montgomery, 1993. "Pattern in Regional Labor Market Adjustment: The United States vs. Japan," NBER Working Papers 4414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4414
    Note: LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Job Security and Work Force Adjustment: How Different are U.S. and Japanese Practices?," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Christopher F. Buechtemann (ed.), Employment Security and Labor Market Behavior: Interdisciplinary Approaches and International Evidence, pages 180-199 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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    6. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
    7. Masanori Hashimoto, 1990. "The Japanese Labor Market in a Comparative Perspective with the United States," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number jlm, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Forslid, Rikard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2014. "Spatial sorting with heterogeneous firms and heterogeneous sectors," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 42-56.
    2. Nagayasu, Jun & Inakura, Noriko, 2009. "PPP: Further evidence from Japanese regional data," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 419-427, June.
    3. Yuji Genda & Ayako Kondo & Souichi Ohta, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of a Recession at Labor Market Entry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
    4. Elhorst, J. Paul, 2000. "The Mystery Of Regional Unemployment Differentialsa Survey Of Theoretical And Empirical Explanations," ERSA conference papers ersa00p60, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity


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