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Labor Productivity and Market Competition in Japan

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  • Tetsuji Yamada
  • Tadashi Yamada
  • Guorn Liu

Abstract

The study focuses on the influence of labor, capital, R&D, technological knowledge, and other factors influencing labor productivity in different manufacturing industries. The study also examines the competitiveness of these manufacturing industries in the Japanese market. The results indicate that labor productivity is high relative to capital productivity in most of the Japanese manufacturing industries. Our results show that the quality of capital (e.g. advanced technology) is generally more important to increasing productivity than the quantity of capital. These findings would imply that workers in Japanese manufacturing industries are using capital of high quality, not of large quantity. Along these lines Japanese firms seem therefore to be trying to assess how to make production more efficient and how to improve the quality of products. The results of this study also show that R&D in Japan is significantly important for aiming not only at the improvement of product technology in the food, spinning, textile, paper products, electrical machinery and equipment, and communication equipment industries, but also at that of process technology in the chemicals, drugs and medicines, petroleum products, machinery, motor vehicles, and transportation equipment industries. The study finds that, while the high turnover rate of technology unfavorably affects electrical machinery, electrical equipment, communications equipment, chemicals, drugs and medicines, and petroleum products industries, the rest of the manufacturing industries enjoy a productive stock of technological knowledge. Despite the ?fact that Japanese manufacturing industries face stiff competition in domestic product markets, the industries may not be as price competitive in the world market as considered.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3800.

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Date of creation: Aug 1991
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Publication status: published as "Productivity of Japanese Manufacturing Industries and their Market Competition", in Japan's Economic Challenge, Joint Economic Committee Congress of the United States: U.S. Federal Government, October 1990,p. 89-101
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3800

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  1. Olson, Mancur, 1988. "The Productivity Slowdown, the Oil Shocks, and the Real Cycle," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 43-69, Fall.
  2. Norsworthy, J R & Malmquist, David H, 1983. "Input Measurement and Productivity Growth in Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 947-67, December.
  3. Jaffe, Adam B, 1988. "Demand and Supply Influences in R&D Intensity and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 431-37, August.
  4. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1988. "Rates Of Return On Physical And R&D Capital And Structure Of The Production Process: Cross Section And Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-73, December.
  6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2011. "Innovation and Productivity Growth," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 276-296.
  7. Bruno, Michael, 1978. "Duality, Intermediate Inputs and Value-Added," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 1 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  8. Fuller, Wayne A. & Battese, George E., 1974. "Estimation of linear models with crossed-error structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-78, May.
  9. Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
  10. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Cox, Thomas L, 1990. "A Non-parametric Analysis of Productivity: The Case of U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 450-64, June.
  11. Odagiri, Hiroyuki & Iwata, Hitoshi, 1986. "The impact of R&D on productivity increase in Japanese manufacturing companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 13-19, February.
  12. Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Productivity Puzzles and R&D: Another Nonexplanation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 9-21, Fall.
  13. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R & D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," NBER Working Papers 15622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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