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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Alexander P. Witzke

Alexander P. Witzke

Alexander P. Witzke
Regional Science of Japan, business studies
Since August 2010
(PhD Students, August 1, 2010 - September 30, 2011)
  • Japanese economy
  • Japanese labour market and employment policy

PhD thesis (working title)

Systems of employment prolongation of Japanese small and medium enterprises within the manufacturing industry – obstacle or driver towards the long-term creation of an age-neutral labour market?“

The prolongation of individual working spans must be regarded as a crucial challenge of populations faced by demographic transition. Relevant international observers look with interest at Japan where employment rates of the working population above the age of sixty as well as the average effective retirement age are above international average. While the reasons for this traditionally high economic participation of elder Japanese are complex, systems of re-employment respectively employment-extension (which are usually refered to in Japanese as saikoyou seido and kinmu enchou seido) play a major role.

Therefore this PhD thesis mainly addresses saikoyou seido and kinmu enchou seido while strong emphasis is placed on the structural framework of these systems. In line with this evaluation a special focus is set on (the corporate decision making about) work contents and employment conditions of continued employees where a high degree of corporate specific heterogeneity becomes apparent.

In order to analyse this question a triangulation of different microeconomic as well as microsociological data sources is aspired which is designed to enable an evaluation at the interface between economic and sociological examination. On the ground of an already conducted questionnary based study, the research stay at the German Institute for Japanese Studies shall be used to extend this quantitative exploration by additional qualitative research methods in form of in-depth interviews and interviews with experts within the field.