1st Edition

Institutional Change in Japan

Edited By Magnus Blomström, Sumner La Croix Copyright 2006
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is a new analysis of recent changes in important Japanese institutions. It addresses the origin, development, and recent adaptation of core institutions, including financial institutions, corporate governance, lifetime employment, and the amakudari system.

    After four decades of rapid economic growth in Japan, the 1990s saw the country enter a prolonged period of economic stagnation. Policy reforms were initially half-hearted, and businesses were slow to restructure as the global economy changed. The lagging economy has been impervious to aggressive fiscal stimulus measures and has been plagued by ongoing price deflation for years. Japan’s struggle has called into question the ability of the country’s economic institutions, originally designed to support factor accumulation and rapid development, to adapt to the new economic environment of the twenty-first century.

    This book discusses both historical and international comparisons including Meiji Japan, and recent economic and financial reforms in Korea, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and New Zealand, placing the current institutional changes in perspective. The contributors argue that, contrary to conventional wisdom that Japanese institutions have remained relatively rigid, there has been significant institutional change over the last decade.

    Introduction Magnus Blomström and Sumner La Croix  Part 1: Institutional Change in Theory and Practice  1. Theories of Institutional Change: How Well Do They Apply to Japan? Akihiko Kawaura and Sumner La Croix  2. Institutional Revolution: The Case of Meiji Japan Janet Hunter  3. Institutional Reform in Japan and Korea: Why the Difference? Chung Lee  Part 2: Japanese Institutions: What Has Changed, What Has Not, and Why  4. A Lost Decade For Corporate Governance? What’s Changed, What Hasn’t, and Why Curtis Milhaupt  5. Japan’s Economic and Financial Stagnation in the 1990s and Reluctance to Change Thomas Cargill  6. Life-Time Employment: History and Response to Crisis Hiroshi Ono And Chiaki Moriguchi  7. The Japanese Labor Movement and Institutional Reform Lonny Carlile  8. Is Amakudari Changing? The Case of Regional Banks Kenji Suzuki  9. Divorce In Japan: Why It Happens, Why It Doesn’t Hiroshi Ono  Index


    Magnus Blomström is Professor of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics and President of the European Institute of Japanese Studies.

    Sumner La Croix is Professor of Economics at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA.

    "I found the book provocative, informative, and one of the best compilations of research on recent changes in the Japanese economy that I have seen.  Institutional Change in Japan addresses the question of how and how much Japan in changing with theoretical and empirical rigor.  The chapters in the volume examine change in Japan through the lens of institutional theories developed in economics, sociology, and political science, placing Japan in a comparative context with other developed economies, other Asian economies, and its own history." - Christina L. Ahmadjian, Journal of Japanese Studies 34:2 (2008)