In recent years, several empirically based studies of blue collar and white collar Japanese workers—notably by Taira, Hazama, Marsh and Mannari, Cole, and Evans—have resulted in a substantial “revision” of our understanding of Japanese labor markets.2 These studies have disputed previous claims that Japanese workers commit themselves irrevocably to their employers and have shown that familiar economic and non-economic incentives affect marketplace behavior. Moreover, while these studies recognize the importance of paternalistic practices in shaping employment relations, they prove that these practices are not simple reflections of traditional values.

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