Bad Weather, Social Network, and Internal Migration; Case of Japanese Sumo Wrestlers 1946-1985
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Post-World War II , there was massive internal migration from rural to urban areas in Japan. The location of Sumo stables was concentrated in Tokyo. Hence, supply of Sumo wrestlers from rural areas to Tokyo was considered as migration. Using a panel dataset covering forty years, specifically 1946-1985, this study investigates how weather conditions and social networks influenced the labor supply of Sumo wrestlers. Major findings are; (1) inclemency of the weather in local areas increased supply of Sumo wrestlers in the period 1946-1965, (2) the effect of the bad weather conditions is greater in the locality where large number of Sumo wrestlers were supplied in the pre-war period, (3) neither the occurrence of bad weather conditions nor their interactions with sumo-wrestlers influenced the supply of Sumo wrestlers in the period 1966-1985. These findings imply that the negative shock of bad weather conditions on agriculture in the rural areas incentivized young individuals to be apprenticed in Sumo stables in Tokyo. Additionally, in such situations, the social networks within Sumo wrestler communities from the same locality are important. However, once the share of workers in agricultural sectors became very low, this mechanism did not work.
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