The Reciprocal Relationship Between Unemployment and Social Isolation in Contemporary Japan: A Longitudinal Approach Using the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey

JLPS Project Discussion Paper Series

26 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020

See all articles by Kenji Ishida

Kenji Ishida

University of Tokyo - Institute of Social Science

Jacques Wels

University of Cambridge

Date Written: March 31, 2020

Abstract

Even though Japan has lower unemployment rates than other industrial societies, it has particularly increased for young and middle-aged people over the two last decades. Similarly, social isolation is a problem in Japan and is thought to be a potential cause of unemployment. The present study uses waves 1 (2007), 3 (2009) and 5 (2011) from the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey, a nationally representative data for Japanese people aged 20 to 40. We perform a cross-lagged panel model with and without random intercepts and control a set of socio-economic covariates. Results show that the seeming reciprocal relationship between unemployment and social isolation is spurious after controlling for covariates at an earlier life stage and random intercepts implying between-individual inherent traits. We conclude that it is challenging to overcome the initial social and economic disadvantages in contemporary Japanese society.

Keywords: Social Isolation, Unemployment, Cross-lagged, Japan, Japanese Life Course Panel Survey

Suggested Citation

Ishida, Kenji and Wels, Jacques, The Reciprocal Relationship Between Unemployment and Social Isolation in Contemporary Japan: A Longitudinal Approach Using the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey (March 31, 2020). JLPS Project Discussion Paper Series, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3650644 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3650644

Kenji Ishida (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Institute of Social Science ( email )

Hongo 7-3-1
Tokyo, TOKYO 113-0033
Japan

Jacques Wels

University of Cambridge

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

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