A Comparative Study of the Effects of English Language Proficiency on Wages in Japan and France

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: Booth 62
Oral Presentation
Rie TAKAMATSU , Osaka University, Suita, Japan
The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of English language proficiency on wages in Japan and France.

Many Japanese women have been learning English in the hope of finding jobs which require communicating in English. Such women have abandoned the idea of careers with Japanese firms, where women are entrusted only with jobs that carry little esteem. These women also have strong affinity for Western culture. However, to date, there have been few jobs requiring the use of English in Japanese society and their dreams have remained unfulfilled.

However, given the strong impact of globalization, the value of English proficiency in the market place is changing. English has now become an important common language for global communication. Does this mean that these women are now prized in the market place?

I examined data from Japan and contrasted it with data from France, a Western nation where women are employed in highly esteemed jobs, using a 2010 Internet survey conducted by Doshisha University, Japan, and a 2012 French survey.

The results show that English proficiency of women was not related to wages in France but positively affected wages in Japan. The high value placed on English language proficiency has been helpful in raising women’s wages in Japan; however, the results also suggest that women have been unable to take full advantage of the English language proficiency that they possess.