Glass Ceilings or Sticky Floors? An analysis of the gender wage gap across the wage distribution in Japan, by HARA Hiromi (Japan Women’s University)


This study examines the gender wage gap across the wage distribution in Japan using large sample data for 1990, 2000, and 2014. The results of the Firpo-Fortin-Lemieux decomposition show that the part of the observed gender gap that is not explained by gender differences in human capital is larger at the top and at the bottom of the wage distribution, indicating that both a glass ceiling and a sticky floor exist for women in the Japanese labor market…….

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for September 2016

On November 22nd Morrison & Foerster LLP made public their latest legal update titled “Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for September 2016”.

In this update they summarize “some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary resources.” This month they ask: “What is a Department of Justice (DOJ) “declination with disgorgement”? How many FCPA resolutions was the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) able to bring in the last month of its fiscal year? How does one avoid running afoul of South Korea’s new anti-corruption laws?”

”Abenomics & Inclusive Growth” by Aoyagi Chie and Giovanni Ganelli

”In the last few years, policy makers in Japan have embarked on an ambitious effort to decisively get the economy out of deflation and revive growth. This policy approach, which has been dubbed “Abenomics” after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, comprises three so-called “arrows”, namely monetary policy, fiscal policy, and growth enhancing structural reforms. In this article, we seek to evaluate the effects of Abenomics’ reforms in terms of inclusiveness. Inclusive growth is a multidimensional concept and the notion has varying definitions, interpretations and connotations. To study the degree of inclusiveness of the Japanese economy, we will first review trends in equity, and then refer to econometric studies attempting to assess how implementation of Abenomics is expected to affect inclusive growth…..”.

Read full article here.

ISS Proposes Policy Opposing the Creation of “Advisory” Posts (sodanyaku, komon)

ISS has proposed a policy for Japan essentially opposing the creation of “advisory” posts for retired directors or kansayaku, who can tend to over-influence the decisions of currently serving executives because the “advisors” were previously the “senpai” (seniors)  of executives, thus creating bottlenecks or “legacy” issues can make changing strategy difficult. This occurs notwithstanding the fact that “advisors” bear no fiduciary duties, cannot be sued by shareholders, and require no disclosure (not even regarding their compensation). At the same time, METI has announced that it will undertake a study about the impact of such positions.

Such advisory posts are a custom in Japanese corporate governance that I have publicly opposed for some time, even before I proposed the full disclosure of all compensation paid to “advisors” when proposing the contents of the Corporate Governance Code to the FSA in 2014. (Unfortunately, the FSA did not include that provision. )

While ISS’ proposed policy is the outcome of my recommendations in an indirect sense, in fact I have had no recent discussions whatever with anyone at ISS about this topic, and it is most accurate to say that concern about the practice simply “percolated” and came to be shared by many others over the past few years.  This is further evidence of a deepening dialogue and consideration of key issues related to corporate governance practice in Japan.

I would like to encourage those who have comments on the proposed policy to respond to the questions below by sending an email to: