Sex-Based Discrimination Trends in Japan, 1965–2005*

Kunihiro Kimura

in Discrimination in an Unequal World

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732166
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866144 | DOI:
Sex-Based Discrimination Trends in Japan, 1965–2005*

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This chapter describes sex-based discrimination trends in Japan and proposes hypotheses that might explain these trends. Section 2 briefly describes the official statistics that provide the source of the data analyzed throughout this chapter. Section 3 describes trends in Japan's gender wage gap from 1965 to 2005, demonstrating that the gender wage gap has dramatically decreased although not disappeared. To explain this development, it proposes a hypothesis that highlights the effect of educational attainment on wages. Section 4 compares the proportions of full-time or regular employees who are unmarried women and married women, analyzing the difference between these two proportions during this time period. The results suggest that the marriage bar remains a source of sex-based discrimination. Section 5 discusses the research that is necessary to improve understanding of sex discrimination in Japan.

Keywords: sex discrimination; Japan; married women; single women; wage gap

Chapter.  5035 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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