The era of the 24-hour society? Assessing changes in work timing using a Japanese time use survey

Sachiko Kuroda*, Isamu Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Using data from a Japanese time use survey, we show a noteworthy increase in the share of employees working at unusual hours (late night and early morning) over a period of a decade since the mid-1990s. When controlling for changes in hours worked, however, we find that the notable increase in the fraction of people at work at unusual hours was for low-income nonregular employees (part-time, temporary and contract workers) while relatively higher income regular employees' work timing remains stable. These observations imply that there is a trend of diversification of work timing in Japan between regular and nonregular employees. A possible explanation is that the increase in the average hours worked per weekday by regular employees, possibly because of the spread of the 5-day workweek since the 1990s, increased services and goods demand at unusual hours as they returned home. An Oaxaca-Blinder type decomposition suggests that such an increase in the average hours worked by regular employees explains partially the rise in the employment rate of nonregular employees at unusual times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1038
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul


  • Hours worked
  • Nonregular employees
  • Regular employees
  • Work timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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