Research Programs: Human Capital

Impact of Diversity and Work-life Balance

Project Leader/Sub-Leader


HIGUCHI Yoshio (Faculty Fellow)



Facing a decrease in potential growth due to the aging of the population coupled with a low birthrate, the Japanese economy has slipped into a downward spiral of continued shrinking. We should maintain and increase the per-capita national income even amidst the population decline and realize a society in which a matured and enriched lifestyle can be enjoyed. The economy should shift to creating and expanding value added.

In order to increase their international competitiveness, Japanese businesses must rid themselves of the inward-looking attitude based on a rather homogeneous Japanese society which is typical of Japanese organizations. By increasing the transparency of their operations and evaluations and reviewing their business culture and labor practices, companies can recruit high quality personnel domestically and abroad irrespective of gender, age, and nationality.

Some of the driving powers for value creation are knowledge and experiences in different fields, respect for different values, and an increase in the labor force participation. We should create a society in which more people participate in value creation and enjoy working in accordance with their respective surroundings and abilities through diversification.

The project aims to clarify the impact of women's participation and leadership on economic growth and business competitiveness. We address this issue from the following two directions. First, using an econometric approach, we will clarify the impact of women's participation and leadership on firms' performance or productivity. Second, using a case study approach, we will interview the personnel division of companies on their efforts to recruit high quality personnel by taking full advantage of women's ability and promoting diversity and work-life balance management.

September 12, 2012 - March 31, 2014

Major Research Results


RIETI Discussion Papers


RIETI Discussion Papers