Confronting income inequality in Japan: a comparative analysis of causes, consequences, and reform
Contrary to general belief, and to Japan's own self-image, inequality of income and wealth distribution in Japan has grown in the past two decades. In this well-written and accessible book, Toshiaki Tachibanaki analyzes the movement toward more income inequality in Japan and offers policy recommendations to counter the trend. Tachibanaki, Japan's leading expert on income distribution, draws on new statistical data covering wealth, inheritance, farm and business holdings, salary, and other relevant factors, to demonstrate that Japan can no longer be thought of as a "90 percent middle-class society."
The book, updated and substantially expanded from Tachibanaki's 1998 Japanese bestseller, discusses the history and the causes of Japan's increasing income inequality and analyzes the effect on wealth distribution of intergenerational transfer. Employing cross-national comparisons to the United States and Europe throughout, Confronting Income Inequality in Japan examines the contrast between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, evaluates equality of opportunity in terms of education and occupation, analyzes the relationship between income distribution and income growth, discusses the role of hierarchical positions in organizations, and considers the differences between welfare states and nonwelfare states. Concluding with policy recommendations, Tachibanaki argues against the belief of some economists that greater inequality is unavoidable if Japan is to achieve a strong economic recovery.
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History of Income Distribution in Postwar Japan
Causes of Rising Inequality
Wealth Distribution and Intergenerational Transfers
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advanced countries average bequest motives bubble economy capital changes chapter decrease earnings effect efficiency and equity employees employment equality of opportunity equality of outcome Expenditure figure financial assets Gini coefficients high income higher household incomes important income and wealth income distribution income earners income inequality income mobility Income Re-distribution Survey income redistribution policies increase individuals inheritance tax intergenerational Japan Japanese Kuznets labor land large number lower measurement ment million yen nomic number of income occupation OECD outcome parents part-time payments percent period postwar poverty relief principle productivity programs progressive tax rapid economic growth real assets redistributed income reforms samples Second sector share shows small number social mobility social security system society statistical Sweden Tachibanaki tax and social tion United Kingdom value-added tax wage differentials wage inequalities wealth distribution wealth inequality welfare white-collar women workers