The Role of Schools in Occupational Attainment in Japan: School Mediated Job-Search Systems and High School Vocational Education



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This dissertation examines the role of schools in micro and macro level occupational attainment in Japan. Using two survey datasets – the Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys (JLPS, N=4,800) and the Tokyo Metropolitan High School Student Survey (TM-S, N= 2,830) – and in-depth interviews with high school teachers as supplemental data, this research investigates how vocational programs and school mediated job-search systems, which are instituted with school-employer networks and in-school job placement offices, function to prepare young people, especially high school graduates, to enter the labor market. Overall, this study finds mixed effects of school mediated job-search systems on occupational attainment. While use of school mediated job-search systems increases the chances of finding a relatively stable and high prestige job for high school graduates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, it also increases occupational gender segregation.