Impacts of Globalization on the Adoption of Remote Work: Evidence from a survey in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic

Author Name TOMIURA Eiichi (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / ITO Banri (Research Associate, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. June 2022 22-E-052
Research Project Empirical analysis of firms amidst globalization, digitization and the COVID-19 pandemic
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First draft: May 2022
Revised: July 2023


Globalized firms manage face-to-face contacts for distant communications. Based on our survey on the responses of Japanese firms to the COVID-19 pandemic, we find that firms that exported, imported, or directly invested abroad more before the pandemic tend to adopt remote work significantly more frequently during the pandemic. We confirm this relationship even after controlling for compositions of occupations, and various firm attributes. The effect of arm’s-length trade, not intra-firm trade, is especially evident. These suggest that pre-pandemic experiences in coordinating across borders are likely to facilitate the adoption of remote work during the pandemic.

Forthcoming: Tomiura, Eiichi, and Banri Ito. "Impacts of globalisation on the adoption of remote work: Evidence from a survey in Japan during the COVID- 19 pandemic," The World Economy.