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Gender Inequalities in the Japanese Workplace and Employment

Theories and Empirical Evidence

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  • © 2019


  • Is the first book in English that clarifies why strong gender inequalities in the workplace persist in Japan
  • Explains the paradox that gender equality in educational attainment may increase gender segregation of jobs
  • Clarifies why certain theories on gender inequality developed in the West may or may not be applicable to Japan

Part of the book series: Advances in Japanese Business and Economics (AJBE, volume 22)

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About this book

The in-depth analyses presented in this book have a dual focus: (1) Social mechanisms through which the gender wage gap, gender inequality in the attainment of managerial positions, and gender segregation of occupations are generated in Japan; and (2) Assessments of the effects of firms’ gender-egalitarian personnel policies and work–life balance promotion policies on the gender wage gap and the firms’ productivity.

     In addition, this work reviews and discusses various economic and sociological theories of gender inequality and gender discrimination and considers their consistencies and inconsistencies with the results of the analysis of Japanese data.  Furthermore, the book critically reviews and discusses the historical development of the Japanese employment system by juxtaposing rational and cultural explanations.

    This book is an English translation by the author of a book he first published in Japanese in 2017. The original Japanese-language edition received two major book awards in Japan. One was The Nikkei Economic Book Culture Award, which is given every year by the Nikkei Newspaper Company and the Japan Economic Research Center to a few best books on economy and society. The other was The Showa University’s Women’s Culture Research Award, which is bestowed annually on a single book of research that promotes gender equality. 

Kazuo Yamaguchi is the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

    Kazuo Yamaguchi

About the author

Kazuo Yamaguchi is the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology and a faculty member of the Department of Sociology, a faculty member of the Committee on Quantitative Studies of Health, Behavioral, and Social Sciences, a faculty fellow in the Center of International Social Science Research, and a board member of the Graham School of Continuing and Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Chicago. Since 2003, he has also been a visiting fellow during the summer at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan. He was formerly Hanna Gray Professor of Sociology and the Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago in 1991, he taught at Columbia University and UCLA after receiving a Ph.D. in sociology in 1981 at the University of Chicago. Besides the study of Japanese society, his primary areas of research include quantitative methodology, social stratification and inequality, work andfamily, mathematical models (especially rational choice models), and drug-use progressions and their relation to life course.

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