Is the Japanese Employment Model Obsolete ?

The analysis of the labour market transformations and of the social construction of employment in Japan, brings us to the hypothesis of the centrality of age into the stability of the wage-labour convention, in spite of the important changes going on. We call up four types of evidences : a limited individualization of biographies ; the existence of a regime of competences which finely articulates firm specific competences and general competences ; a positive relation between wage and age/seniority which transforms itself but which still remains alive ; finally an employment relation which still gives priority to the mobilization of workers rather than protecting their mobility, mainly to the detriment of younger workers: that’s what we called a situation of sustainable illiquidity.

RIBAULT T., Le modèle japonais de l’emploi à vie devient-il obsolète ? Socio-Économie du Travail n°35 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XLVII), mai 2013, p.661-690.

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