Male-Female Wage Differentials in Japan*

Koyo Miyoshi

in Discrimination in an Unequal World

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732166
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866144 | DOI:
Male-Female Wage Differentials in Japan*

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This chapter examines empirically what produces Japan's large male–female wage differential, taking account of the possible differences in the labor market structures for regular and nonregular workers. There are significant differences between males and females in the reasons why they choose to be regular workers. For example, having a child under age six significantly decreases the probability of being a regular worker for females, while this is not the case for males. Second, even among regular workers, the wage gap unexplained by observable characteristics in Japan still remains after the effects of selectivity bias have been removed. There are four important reasons why, for regular workers, the wage gap is so large between the average pay of males and females in Japan. First, regular work experience and seniority, both of which tend to be shorter for females than males, significantly affect wages. Second, there are significant differences in the evaluation of regular work experience between males and females. Third, there are significant differences in the evaluation of university degrees between males and females. Fourth, there are many more males than females who have university degrees, which significantly affects wages.

Keywords: Japan; wage gap; sex discrimination; labor market; regular workers

Chapter.  5905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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