Economic Integration of Skilled Migrants in Japan: The Role of Employment Practices

Hilary J. Holbrow, Kikuko Nagayoshi

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Scholars argue that institutional arrangements shape migrants’ economic integration trajectories, and yet few studies empirically substantiate this. This study identifies employment institutions in Japan that affect skilled foreign workers. We demonstrate that practices ostensibly introduced to benefit these workers are associated with lower pay, after adjusting for human capital and firm characteristics. High levels of gender inequality also severely disadvantage female skilled migrants. These findings demonstrate that in the Japanese case, detrimental employment institutions often cancel out skilled foreign workers’ returns to human capital. The results may explain why Japan has failed to attract and retain more skilled migrants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)458-486
    Number of pages29
    JournalInternational Migration Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Demography
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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