||Commuting Zones in Japan
Taiyo Fukai, Daiji Kawaguchi, and Yukiko U. Saito
Choosing a proper geographic unit is crucial for achieving an accurate analysis of local labor markets. While a small administrative unit such as the municipality is not always ideal because workers commute across units to form a single labor market, a large administrative unit such as the prefecture is often too coarse because prefectures typically include several labor markets. To define appropriate local labor markets for Japan, we first constructed commuting zones (CZs) using the commuting patterns observed in the Population Census from 1980 to 2015 and the hierarchical agglomerative clustering method adopted by Tolbert and Sizer (1996) to delineate CZs in the US. From 1,736 municipalities in 2015, for example, we constructed 265 CZs that are mutually exclusive and exhaustive. We then compared the properties of CZs with those of other potential administrative units including the municipality, prefecture and Urban Employment Area (UEA) proposed by Kanemoto and Tokuoka (2002), finding that our proposed CZs capture the actual commuting patterns and heterogeneity of local labor markets reasonably well.
||Commuting zones, Regional economies, Hierarchical agglomerative clustering,
||Paper in English (32 pages)