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Boosting productivity for inclusive growth in Japan


  • Randall Jones


  • Yosuke Jin



Never in the past 30 years has productivity growth been lower than since the 2008 global financial crisis, and never has income inequality been higher than it is today in Japan, and in the OECD area. The two challenges have some common origins, including a widening productivity and wage gap between leading firms and those that are lagging. This creates scope for positive synergy between policies to promote productivity and inclusive growth. Exit policy should be improved to facilitate the closure of non-viable firms, whose survival hampers the growth of viable firms in Japan. This would also increase firm entry, along with policies to promote entrepreneurship. The growing gap between small and medium-sized enterprises and large firms also needs to be addressed. Breaking down labour market dualism, which limits human capital accumulation by non-regular workers and contributes to earnings and income inequality, is also a priority. Finally, ensuring appropriate skills, including those needed for digitalisation, would help support higher productivity and inclusive growth. This Working Paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of Japan (

Suggested Citation

  • Randall Jones & Yosuke Jin, 2017. "Boosting productivity for inclusive growth in Japan," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1414, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1414-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kyoji Fukao, 2013. "Explaining Japan's Unproductive Two Decades," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 8(2), pages 193-213, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wim Naudé & Paula Nagler, 2018. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.

    More about this item


    Abenomics; bankruptcy law; corporate governance; entrepreneurship; firm exit; human capital; income inequality; innovation; labour market dualism; product market regulation; productivity; SMEs;

    JEL classification:

    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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