The impact of migrant workers on the Japanese economy: Trickle vs. Flood

Junichi Goto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyzes the economic impact of temporary and unskilled migrant workers in Japan, who are illegal according to the current Japanese immigration law but who have been dramatically increasing in recent years. The analysis, using a simple CGE model, reveals the quadruple impact of the admission of migrant workers on the welfare of the host country which has often been neglected in the orthodox theory: (i) cheaper foreign labor effect (ii) trade barrier effect (iii) nontradable income effect and (iv) nontradable consumption effect. Moreover, it is shown that, if Japan is to benefit from admitting foreign labor, the scale of admission should be large and the admission should be accompanied by trade liberalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalJapan and The World Economy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Guest workers
  • Immigration policy
  • International migration
  • Japan and Asia
  • Nontraded goods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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