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Selection and Imitation in Institutional Evolution: Analysis of Institutional Change in Japan, 1960-1999


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  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)


This paper presents an empirical framework to analyze institutional changes, and applies it to the evolution of several economic institutions in Japan, specifically main banking system and long- term employment. Ideas of evolutionary biology and organizational ecology are applied to the empirical analysis on institutional evolution. The basic question is how selection and imitation work in the evolution of the economic institutions. I focus on four factors of fitness, namely (i)growth rate, (ii)exit (death) rates, (iii)entry (birth) rate, and (iv)rate of the change of attribute. (i), (ii) and (iii) represent selection, while (iv) represents imitation in the process of evolution. Constructing a data set on the population of the industrial firms in Japan, I examine how the composition of the firm population has changed over time with respect to institutional attributes, specifically main bank relationship, to what extent the fitness factors (i)-(iv) have contributed to that change, and whether main bank system has co-evolved with long-term employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-256.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2004cf256

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Cited by:
  1. Tetsuji Okazaki & Michiru Sawada & Kazuki Yokoyama, 2005. "Measuring the Extent and Implications of Director Interlocking in the Pre-war Japanese Banking Industry ?Published in "Journal of Economic History", Dec2005, Vol. 65 Issue 4, p1082-1115, 34p," CARF F-Series CARF-F-039, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  2. Tetsuji Okazaki & Michiru Sawada & Ke Wang, 2005. "The Fall of "Organ Bank" Relationships During the Wave of Bank Failures and Consolidations: Experience in Pre-war Japan (Published in "Corporate Ownership and Control" 4(4): 20-29,," CARF F-Series CARF-F-052, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.


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