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Shinya Kotera and Jochen M. Schmittmann

countries. The lifetime employment system is associated with seniority-based promotion and pay structures. Lifetime employment can provide incentives to employers and employees to invest in firm-specific human capital, but it has also been associated with high gender inequality and lack of diversity. 1 The system mainly applies to regular male workers, reflecting traditional gender roles and the typically required long working hours ( Figure 2 , middle right). Various other factors keep women out of life-time employment arrangements including insufficient childcare

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes reasons behind low levels of private investment in Japan. Private investment in Japan not only appears low, but also seems to have underperformed relative to other advanced economies. Findings support the hypothesis that sectoral concentration (reduced competition) has had a significant negative impact on firm- and sector-level investment. Results point to potential benefits from decreasing barriers to entry, protection of incumbents, and market concentration in some sectors. Results also indicate that there is room for further reform in the gas and telecom sectors, and deregulation of professional services.
International Monetary Fund

Labor Market Developments 1. Introduction 2. The “lifetimeemployment system 3. Population, labor force and participation rates 4. Employment, hours worked and nonregular employment 5. Unemployment and labor market turnover 6. Wage behavior 7. Shifts in the lifetime employment system 8. Government labor programs and restrictions 9. Prospects and conclusions Appendix References Text Tables II.1 Wage Levels and Worker Distribution by Length of Service II.2 Unemployment Duration for Selected Countries, 1983-93 II.3 Unemployment Rates by

Chie Aoyagi and Giovanni Ganelli

Japan’s labor market has traditionally been characterized by the lifetime employment system, under which employers refrain from firing workers and workers implicitly commit not to switch employment until retirement. The lifetime employment system served the country well during the high-growth decades by facilitating the accumulation of firm-specific human capital and building trust between employer and employee. The image of the Japanese “salaryman,” who returns home from work late at night after long hours in the office is legendary. Such devotion has been

Ms. Chie Aoyagi

Japan’s labor market has traditionally been characterized by the lifetime employment system, under which employers refrain from firing workers and workers implicitly commit not to switch employment until retirement. The lifetime employment system served the country well during the high-growth decades by facilitating the accumulation of firm-specific human capital and building trust between employer and employee. The image of the Japanese “salaryman,” who returns home from work late at night after long hours in the office is legendary. Such devotion has been

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

employment is common for male workers . Japan’s lifetime employment system, backed by seniority-based wages, became the standard after the 1950’s. Even after revising the Dispatched Workers Act in the late 1990’s to raise labor market flexibility, the system persists (especially for men) as employment laws make it almost impossible to fire regular workers. Nearly 30 percent of men work at the same firm where they started—virtually unchanged since 1990. Only 19 percent of women stay at the same firm, and the ratio has been declining. 5. Women are overrepresented in non

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

-Structural Reforms B. Coordinated Demand and Income Policies C. Stronger Macroeconomic Policy Frameworks D. External Position and Spillovers E. Enhanced Financial Sector Policies STAFF APPRAISAL BOXES 1. National Accounts Revision and Reassessment of Economic Developments Under Abenomics 2. Yield Curve Control (YCC): The Road Less Traveled 3. Japan’s Lifetime Employment System and Gender Inequality FIGURES 1. Recent Economic Developments 2. Inflation Developments 3. Monetary Policy Transmission 4. Financial Markets Developments 5. JGB Market

International Monetary Fund

to 57 percent in 2010. Despite this rise, however, employment rates still fall significantly with age, from 75 percent of the 55-to-59 group in 2010 to 57 percent of the 60-to-64 group and 36 percent of the 65-to-69 group ( OECD 2011 ). 6 21. Increasing the average retirement age would help increase labor participation and help reduce pressure on pension systems . But achieving this under the current lifetime employment system may create inequities for the younger generations, with many firms currently using the early retirement age as a means to reduce the