Social and Industrial Policy Change in Italy and Japan
Edited by Hideko Magara and Stefano Sacchi
Chapter 6: Party politics and the changing labour market in Japan
In the 1980s, Japan was depicted as a model political economy that had successfully achieved both economic efficiency and an egalitarian society. However, Japan’s continuing economic difficulties since the 1990s have shed doubts on such a rosy view of the Japanese political economy. Currently, two contrasting perspectives on the Japanese economy exist in daily newspaper reports as well as academic circles. On the one hand, Japan still manages to occupy a respectable position among efficient and egalitarian countries. For instance, the ‘variety of capitalism’ (VoC) literature includes Japan in the group of coordinated market economies (CMEs) – political economic systems that achieve both economic efficiency and social harmony (Hall and Soskice, 2001). On the other hand, many commentators point to changes in the Japanese model of capitalism occurring since the 1990s, which are represented by a phenomenal growth of non-regular workers as well as a dangerous widening of the economic gap among Japanese households. Undoubtedly, Japanese voters’ uneasy feelings about the ‘disappearance’ of the traditional egalitarian Japanese society, in which they could expect a stable job upon graduation and rely on social security and a pension, have contributed to the landslide victory of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in the 2009 national election. Hall and Soskice (2001) predict that globalization will lead to the survival of CMEs and explain the continued capitalist diversity based on firms’ rational behaviors in institutional contexts.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.