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Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States

This volume, the fourth to result from a remarkably productive collaboration between the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Japan Center for Economic Research, presents a selection of thirteen high-caliber papers addressing issues in the employment practices, labor markets, and health, benefit, and pension policies of the United States and Japan.

After an opening chapter assessing the recent ascendance of the U.S. economy, papers diverge to tackle a range of specific issues. Focusing less on international comparison than on the assembly of high-quality research, contributors hone in on a variety of individual topics. Chapters delve into issues of youth employment, participatory employment, information sharing, fringe benefits, and drug coverage in Japan, as well as the dynamics of medical savings accounts, private insurance coverage, and benefit options in the U.S.

Like previous volumes stemming from NBER/JCER collaboration, this book represents a valuable mass of empirical data on some of the most notable employment and benefits issues in each nation, information that will both anchor and provoke scholarly analysis of these topics well into the future.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
David A. Wise
1. Changing the Guard: The Rise of the United States to Peak Capitalist Economy
Richard B. Freeman
2. The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan
Takao Kato
3. Determinants of the Shadow Value of Simultaneous Information Sharing in the Japanese Machine-Tool Manufacturing Industry
Hiroyuki Chuma
4. Who Really Lost Jobs in Japan? Youth Employment in an Aging Japanese Society
Yuji Genda
5. Total Labor Costs and the Employment Adjustment Behavior of Large Japanese Firms
Yoshifumi Nakata and Ryoji Takehiro
6. Individual Expenditures and Medical Saving Accounts: Can They Work?
Matthew J. Eichner, Mark B. McClellan, and David A. Wise
7. Supplementing Public Insurance Coverage with Private Coverage: Implications for Medical Care Systems
David M. Cutler
8. Option Value Estimation with Health and Retirement Study Data
Andrew Samwick and David A. Wise
9. Why Do the Japanese Spend So Much on Drugs?
Seiritsu Ogura and Takehiko Hagino
10. The Demand for Health Checkups under Uncertainty
Tadashi Yamada and Tetsuji Yamada
11. The Role of Firms in Welfare Provision
Toshiaki Tachibanaki
12. Fringe Benefit Provision for Female Part-Time Workers in Japan
Yukiko Abe
13. Unions, the Costs of Job Loss, and Vacation
Fumio Ohtake
Contributors
Author Index
Subject Index

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