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Secular trends in the Japanese labour market during the lost decades: A reply to Andrew Gordon


  • Blind, Georg
  • Lottanti von Mandach, Stefania


In a recent contribution (2017) Professor Gordon takes a very critical stance on our earlier article titled “Decades not lost, but won” (Blind and Lottanti von Mandach 2015), which he sees as ‘revisionist’ and as applying ‘too low a standard’. Professor Gordon provides a selection of granular data that might be understood as refuting two of our earlier findings, and attempts replication of the analysis underlying our third finding, but finds diverging evidence. While his labelling of our research is unpleasant, the implicit and explicit questioning of our results is troubling. This reply demonstrates that the evidence in Professor Gordon’s article does not challenge our earlier findings on aggregate developments during the ‘lost decades’ and provides explanation for the diverging results in Professor Gordon’s replication effort. We argue that the results of his replication only apply to the fraction of non-regular employees working full time, while ours applies to the large majority of part-time employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Blind, Georg & Lottanti von Mandach, Stefania, 2017. "Secular trends in the Japanese labour market during the lost decades: A reply to Andrew Gordon," MPRA Paper 80812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:80812

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Georg D. BLIND & Stefania LOTTANTI VON MANDACH, 2015. "Decades not Lost, but Won: Increased Employment, Higher Wages, and More Equal Opportunities in the Japanese Labour Market," Social Science Japan Journal, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 63-88.
    2. repec:oup:sscijp:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:9-36. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chiang, Hui-Yu & Ohtake, Fumio, 2014. "Performance-pay and the gender wage gap in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 71-88.
    4. repec:oup:ssjapj:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:9-36. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:oup:sscjjp:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:9-36. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
    7. Abe, Yukiko, 2011. "The Equal Employment Opportunity Law and labor force behavior of women in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 39-55, March.
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    More about this item


    Gender economics; labour force and employment; wage differentials; Japan;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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