Commuting Zones in Japan

Author Name ADACHI Daisuke (Yale University) / FUKAI Taiyo (University of Tokyo) / KAWAGUCHI Daiji (University of Tokyo and IZA) / SAITO Yukiko (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2020 20-E-021
Research Project Dynamics of Inter-organizational Network and Firm Lifecycle
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First Draft: March 2020
Revised: January 2021


We construct commuting zones (CZs) in Japan using the inter-municipality commuting patterns observed in the 1980-2015 Population Census. We employ the hierarchical agglomerative clustering method adopted by Tolbert and Sizer (1996), who defined the standard CZs in the US. As a result, for example, in 2015, from 1,736 municipalities, we construct 265 CZs that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. We discuss the properties of economic variables within and across the CZs and find that CZs are feasible to capture the heterogeneity that exists across labor markets.