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Date and Venue

November 28 2023 | 17:00-18:30 JST

In-person at Waseda University

Room 712, Building 19, Waseda University


Event details:


Scholars contend that Japanese firms hold white-collar foreign workers to a far higher bar for assimilation than do employers in other countries. This model of the ethnocentric firm suggests that the growing number of foreign-educated white-collar migrants in Japan should face steep labor market penalties, compared to migrants educated in Japan, because they have had fewer opportunities to familiarize themselves with Japanese working styles and norms. We test this hypothesis using a sample of 546 Asian white-collar foreign workers. However, we find that, robust to controls for compositional differences in the foreign- and Japan-educated migrant populations, foreign-educated migrants earn more. Since penalties for foreign degrees are ubiquitous in other national contexts, this finding counterintuitively implies that, at least in evaluation and rewards, Japanese firms may be less ethnocentric than the global norm.



Hilary J. Holbrow is Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at Indiana University. A sociologist by training, her scholarship examines social and economic inequality, work and organizations, immigration, and the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity. She is an International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo, an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute, and a member of the US-Japan Network for the event Future. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Fulbright Program.

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