Globalization and the Japanese Economy
By David Bruce
Routledge – 2014 – 224 pages
This book provides a critical account of the origin, development and operation of the Japanese economy. Based on detailed empirical research and statistical analysis, it examines the development of the Japanese economy before and after the Second World War until today. In particular, it explores a debate that has divided economic historians in Japan and has played a major role in current debates about economic reform: whether the modern Japanese economy is largely a construct of events during the Second World War, or if instead it is a natural part of the evolution from a much older system. This debate has important ramifications for understanding not only how the modern Japanese economy came into existence and its fundamental workings, but also why Japan was so successful and the reasons it is facing problems today. It challenges externally imposed views of the Japanese economy and its success, for example that its high rates of growth were principally driven by export growth and uniquely favourable conditions in the world economy in the post-war period. Despite its strong resonance in academic and policy-making circles in Japan, the extensive literature on this topic has been neglected by international scholars. This book brings that material to an English language audience for the first time. It also adds to that debate, arguing that the events of the Second World War did have critical lasting consequences and did not merely amount to an aberration of a long term trend, but that other important factors have also exerted an impact, for example the change in the nature of the Japanese economy as it shifted from a small economy in the international system (and therefore much less able to deal with a competitive international economy through government intervention), to a large closed one (which was much more insulated and less exposed to changes in international conditions).
Introduction 1. Critical Historical Developments in the World Economy 2. Japan’s Changing Economic Structure and Status in the World Economy 3. The Evolution of Macro-Economic Policy during the Catch Up Phase 4. Continuity and Discontinuity 5. The Post-War High Speed Growth System: Competing Explanations 6. The End of High Speed Growth. Conclusion. Bibliography
David Bruce is Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies, in the Department of Politics and International Relations, London Metropolitan University, UK.