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Underemployment - Japan's army of under-employed ex-housewives

Graham Watson

31st August 2021

This is a lovely example of what is meant by the term 'under-employment' and illustrates exactly what this implies for an economy.

In this case, Japan is used as our case study, with rigidities - and downright sexism - meaning that many ex-housewives cannot find a job commensurate with their qualifications.

As a result, many highly qualified women struggle to re-enter the labour force despite policy initiatives like Shinzo Abe's "Womenomics", and Japan's productive capacity suffers as a result.

Female labour market participation rates in Japan are among the lowest for all advanced, high-income countries.

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