Gender Difference in the Managerial Careers of Regular Employees in Japanese Firms: An empirical study using employee-employer matched data

Author Name MA Xinxin (Hitotsubashi University) / INUI Tomohiko (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2016 16-J-015
Research Project The Effect of Diversity on Economic Growth and Business Competitiveness
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In this paper, we conduct an empirical analysis on the determinants of gender difference in the managerial careers of regular employees in Japanese firms by employing a unique Japanese employer-employee matched data. The main findings from our research are twofold. First, the main determinants of female managerial career success are individual attributes such as human capital, family factors, and work factors such as work hours and work willingness, and this finding is consist with that of previous studies. In addition, Japanese firm attributes such as the union, industry and irregular workers proportion, and firm promotion system, and policy factors such as work-life-balance (WLB) policy and positive action (PA) policy performed by the government also affect the difference in gender managerial career success.

Second, results obtained by using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method using the same data set show that both the explained component (by individual or firm characteristics differential) and the unexplained component (this partly reflects gender discrimination effects) by individual or firm characteristics cause the gender difference in high managerial careers. On the other hand, the unexplained component by the individual or firm characteristics differential and Japanese firms' slow promotion system mainly causes the gender difference in low level managerial careers.