Discussion Papers

The ‘Re-segmentation” of the Japanese labor market. Investigating the impact of industrial dynamics

DP Number DP-2014-001
Language 英語のみ
Date August, 2014
Author Lechevalier Sébastien
JEL Classification codes C23, E24, I32, J31, L16, L60
Keywords Inequalities, poverty, deindustrialization, corporate heterogeneity, Japanese Employment System, panel data.
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The purpose of this paper is to propose a synthesis and an original interpretation of
recent empirical works dealing with inequalities in Japan. Most of them have been able
to use panel micro data – and sometimes linked employers-employees data – and it has
allowed them disentangling individual and firm effects and linking the evolutions of
productivity dispersion and of wage differentials. The major result is that rising
inequalities in Japan from the 1990s correspond to a large extent to an unprecedented
growth in the disparity of wages and employment security between wage earners of
comparable status, working in firms of similar size and belonging to the same sector.
The second result is that it is possible to link these structural changes on the labor
market to industrial dynamics, namely deindustrialization and increasing corporate
heterogeneity. We interpret this evolution as a ‘resegmentation’ of the Japanese labor