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Japanese Labour Markets: Can we Expect Significant Change?


  • Marcus Rebick


I examine recent changes in labour markets and employment practices in Japan. I find little evidence that Japan is converging towards an Anglo-American type labour market. Mobility rates continue to be low, and there is little indication that this will change greatly in the future. Large firms will continue to be reluctant to hire women into line management positions, and women will continue to dominate the continent workforce in Japan. There is likely to be a change in the nature of assessment and rewards leading to greater dispersion in pay, especially for managers.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Rebick, 2000. "Japanese Labour Markets: Can we Expect Significant Change?," Economics Series Working Papers 21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-349, June.
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    3. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    6. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    7. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    8. Theodore Groves & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209.
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    Cited by:

    1. Satoshi Shimizutani & Izumi Yokoyama, 2006. "Has Japan's Long-term employment Practice Survived? New Evidence Emerging Since the 1990s," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-182, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Divorce in Japan: Why It Happens, Why It Doesn’t," EIJS Working Paper Series 201, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies, revised 26 Jan 2006.
    3. Ono, Hiroshi, 2010. "Lifetime employment in Japan: Concepts and measurements," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-27, March.
    4. Junya Hamaaki & Masahiro Hori & Saeko Maeda & Keiko Murata, 2012. "Changes in the Japanese Employment System in the Two Lost Decades," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(4), pages 810-846, October.
    5. HAMAAKI Junya & HORI Masahiro & MAEDA Saeko & MURATA Keiko, 2010. "Is the Japanese employment system degenerating? Evidence from the Basic Survey on Wage Structure," ESRI Discussion paper series 232, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Arjan Keizer, 2011. "Flexibility in Japanese internal labour markets: The introduction of performance-related pay," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 573-594, September.
    7. Hiroshi Ono & Marcus E. Rebick, 2003. "Constraints on the Level and Efficient Use of Labor in Japan," NBER Working Papers 9484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    Japan; labour; economy; personnel; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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