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The products of efforts or the results of luck? The determinants of success the Japanese think

Listed author(s):
  • Lisa Ogata

    (Credit Guarantee Corporation of Osaka-shi)

  • Miki Kohara

    (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)

  • Fumio Ohtake

    (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University)

What do the Japanese think that social success is attributed to? Is success in life obtained by one's efforts or just by luck? This paper examines the Japanese formation of values on social success. The paper focuses on the effect of economic conditions around the time of graduation. We use the Japan Household Panel Survey on Consumer Preferences and Satisfaction, which is compiled by Osaka University in 2009. Controlling for individual heterogeneity and removing biases and measurement errors possibly raised by objective answers on value formation, those who faced a slump one year before their graduation tend to have values that social success is attributed to luck rather than to own efforts. In addition, there is an apparent difference in value formation between men and women. The men's values are determined by past experiences including the labor market conditions at the time of graduation and living conditions when they were grown up. In contrast, the women's values are determined by present conditions, especially not absolute but relative economic conditions.

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Paper provided by Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University in its series OSIPP Discussion Paper with number 12J004.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:12j004
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