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Some Remarks on Japanese Finance, Growth and International Integration

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  • Mechthild Schrooten

Abstract

Despite the fact that the last century was characterized by an impressive increase of cross-border capital flows, Japan remained a relatively closed economy up to the late 90s. Only when the "bubble" burst was the impetus given for more rapid opening up of the economy and the closely related liberalization of the financial sector. In general economic theory sees international financial market integration as an important instrument for increasing economic productivity. Japan, however, remains mired in an ongoing deep financial crisis even following the implementation of this measure. To understand this phenomenon better, this paper connects ideas from endogenous growth theory with the introduction of new rules of the economic game on the financial market. It can be demonstrated empirically that in Japan, the "old" internal institutions on the financial market have continued to exist even after the change in external institutions. Against the backdrop of these tensions, it is unlikely that the formally liberalized financial sector will have any significant positive impacts on Japan's economic development in the near future. Obwohl das letzte Jahrhundert im Allgemeinen durch eine starke Ausweitung der internationalen Kapitalverflechtung gekennzeichnet war, blieb Japan bis in die 90er Jahre hinein eine relativ geschlossene Volkswirtschaft. Erst mit dem Platzen der so genannten "Bubble" wurde die Öffnung der Volkswirtschaft und damit eng verbunden die Liberalisierung des Finanzsektors vorangetrieben. Üblicherweise sieht die ökonomische Theorie in der internationalen Finanzmarktintegration ein wichtiges Instrument zur Steigerung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Produktivität. Japan allerdings befindet sich auch nach diesem Schritt in einer anhaltend tiefgreifenden gesamtwirtschaftlichen Krise. Um dieses Phänomen besser zu verstehen, stellt das vorliegende Papier einen Zusammenhang zwischen Überlegungen von endogener Wachstumstheorie und der Einführung neuer Spielregeln auf dem Finanzmarkt her. Empirisch lässt sich zeigen, dass in Japan die "alten" internen Institutionen auf dem Finanzmarkt auch nach der Veränderung der externen Institutionen Bestand haben. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser Spannungen sind auch in der nahen Zukunft von dem formal liberalisierten Finanzsektor keine nennenswerten positiven Impulse auf die gesamtwirtschaftliche Entwicklung zu erwarten.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 70 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 515-526

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:70-40-6

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