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Trade and Employment in Japan


  • Kozo Kiyota

    (Yokohama National University)


In light of the importance of the relationship between trade and employment in Japan, this paper examines the effects of exports on employment (i.e. the number of workers), working-hours, and total worker-hours (i.e. employment times working-hours). This paper utilized the Japanese input-output table for the period from 1975 to 2006, which enables us to estimate the effects of exports on the industry's employment (i.e. direct effect) but also on other industries' employment (i.e. indirect effect). The major findings are threefold. First, the demand for worker-hours from exports increased but this is not large enough to offset the decreases in demand for worker hours from domestic final demand. As a result, total worker-hours in Japan have declined since 1990. Second, the demand for employment from exports has increased since 1985 both in manufacturing and non-manufacturing. This result implies that the manufacturing exports affected indirectly non-manufacturing employment through inter-industry linkages. Finally, the overall demand for working-hours from exports and domestic final demand declined between 1980 and 2006 although it increased slightly in manufacturing after 1995. There are two possible policy influences behind these adjustment processes. One is the change in Japanese labour standard law. The other is the change in the Japanese worker dispatch law. Although these two policies have different implications, policy makers need to recognize the importance of the flexibility of the adjustment in either case.

Suggested Citation

  • Kozo Kiyota, 2011. "Trade and Employment in Japan," OECD Trade Policy Papers 127, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:127-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    employment; inclusive growth; trade; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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