Laggards and Leaders in Labour Market Reform: Comparing Japan and Australia

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A flexible labour market is widely regarded as a key factor in encouraging economic growth and prosperity. In recent years some economies have successfully reformed their labour markets, making part-time and flexible hours easier, limiting the restrictive practices of trade unions, encouraging training and the enhancement of the skills of those in the labour market, coping with the changing age profile of the workforce and in other ways. Other economies have been less successful at labour market reform and continue to struggle with outdated structures and practices. This book discusses the key elements of labour market reform, contrasting a country where reforms have been successfully carried through, Australia, with a country where reforms have been less successful, Japan. At the same time, this book challenges the conventional view that Australia is the lucky country for all its workers – given the rising hours worked for those in work and the difficulties for young people entering the labour market. Both countries also face issues in terms of an ageing population, and policy challenges in the design of safety nets and pension provision. The book thereby demonstrates to analysts of labour market reform worldwide the key elements of successful labour market reform, and the consequential effects when the reforms are carried through, or not.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jenny Corbett is Professor of Economics and Executive Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre at the Australian National University, Australia; and a Fellow of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. Anne Daly is Research Associate at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM); and Director of the Centre for Labour Market Research, University of Canberra, Australia. Hisa Matsushige is Professor and Associate Dean at the Osaka School of International Public Policies, Osaka University, Japan. Dehne Taylor is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. Prior to this he was Manager of the Labour Market Unit at the Australian Treasury.

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Table of Contents

1: Facing up to the hurdle race - Jenny Corbett, Anne Daly, and Dehne Taylor Section 1: State of the economy since 1990 and implications for labour markets 2: Australia’s changing labour market - Dehne Taylor 3: Economic recession and changes in wages of part-time employees in Japan - Tomoko Kishi 4: The changing distribution of working hours in Australia - Mark Wooden and Robert Drago Section 2: Trade and the labour markets 5: Has globalisation increased Australian inequality? - Noel Gaston and Gulasekaran Rajaguru 6: Imports, production, and the Australian worker - Christis G. Tombazos Section 3: Earnings and income distribution 7: A rising tide? Income inequality, the social safety net and the labour market in Australia - Ann Harding, Quoc Ngu Vu and Alicia Payne 8: The changing role of skill, wages, employment and education in the Japanese labour market, 1985-2005 - Hisako Ishii Section 4: Population aging and migration 9: Labour force participation of older workers in Australia and Japan: a tale of two pension systems - Hazel Bateman and John Piggott 10: Australia’s skilled migration program and skilled migration between Australia and Japan - Dharmalingam Arunachalam and Ernest Healy 11: Ageing, migration, and female workers in Japan - Junichi Goto Section 5: Youth and women 12: Changing transitions: developments in the labour market and education for Australian youth since the 1980s - Anne Daly and Kenneth Cole 13: Equal employment opportunity, work-life balance and corporate performance in Japan: an analysis based on matched employer–manager–employee data - Akira Kawaguchi

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