Challenges in Working Style Reform and Promotion of Women's Advancement: From the perspective of personnel economics

Author Name OWAN Hideo (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2017 17-P-006
Research Project Economic Analysis of Human Resource Allocation Mechanisms within the Firm: Insider econometrics using HR data
Download / Links


In this paper, we first overview the gender disparity found in the human resources development and promotion policies of Japanese companies. Then, using a simple game theory, we explain how the following four policies—equal employment opportunity program, support for women's continued employment, measures to improve conditions for non-regular workers, and working style reform—affect female labor participation and fertility rate. We then examine five challenges surrounding the efforts among the governments and industry leaders to promote working style reform and women’s advancement from the viewpoint of personnel economics. Specifically, we evaluate the following issues as causes for increasing the gender promotion gap: (1) high returns to long working hours and relocation for employees, (2) job and career segregation by gender, (3) biases that exist in work assignment and ability evaluation for women, (4) flexibility in working style and lack of support from managers, and (5) late promotion that causes penalty for childbearing.