Does Initial Job Status Affect Midlife Outcomes and Mental Health? Evidence from a survey in Japan

Author Name OSHIO Takashi  (Hitotsubashi University) /INAGAKI Seiichi  (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Creation Date/NO. May 2014 14-E-025
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
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This article examines how initial job status following graduation affects the midlife outcomes and mental health of Japanese workers, using micro data from a nationwide online survey of 3,117 men and 2,818 women aged 30-60. The focus was the impact of initial job status on socioeconomic/marital status and mental health during the person's midlife period. It was found that failure to obtain regular employment at the time of graduation raised the probabilities of unstable job status throughout the person's life, low household income, unmarried status, and psychological distress. The impact of initial job status on current mental health was not mediated fully by the current socioeconomic/marital status, particularly for women. Unlike general observations from Europe, this study suggests that unstable initial job status reduces opportunities for future success and has a traumatic effect on mental health.