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Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 289-302 (2013)

“Does Initial Job Status Affect Midlife Outcomes? Evidence from a Survey in Japan”
Seiichi Inagaki (former Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University), Takashi Oshio (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

This study examined how initial job status following graduation affects the midlife outcomes of Japanese workers, using micro data from a nationwide Internet survey of 3,117 men and 2,818 women aged 30–60. It was found that failure to obtain regular employment at graduation raised probabilities of unstable job status, low household income, unmarried status and, life dissatisfaction, and psychological distress. The impact of initial job status on current mental health was not fully mediated by current socioeconomic/marital status, both for men and women. Unlike general observations from Europe, this study suggests that unstable initial job status signals a bad start for Japanese workers.