An Empirical Analysis on the Happiness of Japanese Non-Regular Workers

Author Name KUME Koichi  (Nagoya University of Commerce and Business) /OHTAKE Fumio  (Osaka University) /OKUDAIRA Hiroko  (Okayama University) /TSURU Kotaro  (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2011 11-J-061
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
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Using the results of our Internet survey, this paper investigates the determinants of happiness for Japanese non-regular workers, and also discusses policy implications for improving workers' well-being. Taking advantage of our rich dataset, we carefully distinguish the characteristics of workers such as employment type, contract term, and past work experience. Thereafter, we conduct a panel logit estimation to identify how the aforementioned characteristics affect the happiness of non-regular workers.

We found that the level of happiness is significantly low for non-regular workers who have one or more of the following characteristics: unmarried, working on a short-term contract, being in a non-permanent job against their will, having a low level of education, and having experienced accidents at work in the past. This implies that implementing comprehensive labor policy such as one that is combined with family policy, extending contract terms, establishing career paths for non-regular workers by facilitating the conversion of their employment to regular positions, supporting education, as well as implementing safety measures and providing aftercare for injured workers may be considerably effective for raising the level of happiness of non-regular workers.