Conventional wisdom says that Japanese workers tend to experience less volatility in employment than do Americans, partly because many workers in Japan's largest firms have what amounts to a life-time employment contract. One might expect, then, that total employment over the business cycle would vary less in Japan than in the U.S. and that Japanese firms would respond to cyclical fluctuations with larger changes in hours per worker.
Suggested citation: “Employment Variability,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 97-06, pp. 13, 06.01.1997.