Voluntary and involuntary job mobility in Japan: Resource, reward and labor market structure

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Abstract

This research aims to make clear the determinants of job shift patterns in Japan. Previous studies have highlighted the importance of both individual level of resourceand reward, and labor market structures which affect job mobility patterns. However, previous research on job mobility in Japan did not incorporate individual level of attributes such as resourceand reward into systematic theoretical points of view while the impact of labor market structure on job mobility drew distinctive attention in Japan. In addition, many previous studies did not take into account the context of job shift because of a lack of available sourceof information in survey data. The present research pays attention to the divergence between voluntary and involuntary job mobility. The result shows that firm-specific skills and occupational reward made it less likely for employees to quit a job. It corresponds to the model of reward and resource. However, there is no evidence that general human capital which is transferable across firm would increase the likelihood of quitting a job as is seen in the U.S labor market. In addition, the way in which labor market structure influences job shift patterns is almost identical to the model of segmented labor market. In contrast, the way in which macroeconomic conditions for labor market affects rates of job shift in Japan is deviant from the hypothesis for the U.S labor market. This paper highlights the differences between voluntary and involuntary job mobility in Japan. Compared to the previous studies in the U.S. the job mobility patterns in Japan appear to be roughly similar to the ones for the United States whereas it seems that the institutional arrangements specific to Japanese labor market could make the job mobility patterns substantially different from those for the other industrialized countries. Cross-national comparison of intragenerational mobility which has lacked empirical studies would be further needed so that we can make clear the underpinnings of job mobility structure and institutional arrangements of labor market which diverge job mobility across country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Context of job shift
  • Segmented labor market
  • The reward-resourcemodel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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