Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Job search in Japan

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports: In Bleak Economy, Japanese Students Grow Frustrated With Endless Job Hunt (subscription required)

"The recruiting system, which began in the early 1950s as a response to labor shortages, has caused years of tension between corporations and universities, which complain that it disrupts study."
"Japan is not unique in effectively forcing college students to look for jobs before graduation, but Mr. Slater says the system does demand that they start early. "They must begin figuring out what they want to do by second year," he says, "and it becomes really heavy-duty in third."
A voluntary code adopted by Japan's largest business lobbying group, the Keidanren, in 2007 does not allow companies to start recruiting graduates before October, but the code is widely flouted, say critics, with recruitment beginning as early as the summer before students' senior year."
"Recruitment is being pushed back earlier into the third and even the second year, says Mr. Hori, the Waseda student. "I'm as afraid as anyone of not being able to get work, but university just becomes a waste of time."
Those who miss out on recruitment the first time around are instantly relegated to the back of the pack, students agree. "You don't belong anywhere if you don't get a job straight after you graduate," says Yumi Nishikawa, also a fourth-year student at Sophia. "If you fail, you're stigmatized." "

For some background on this market, apparently not yet out of date, see

Roth, A.E. and X. Xing, "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, 84, September, 1994, 992-1044.(the section on the Japanese market, focusing on the period 1970-1990 is also here.)


Chirag said...

Different markets face similar challenges...

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