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"The Fable of the Keiretsu: "Keiretsu" in Keiretsu no Kenkyu"(in Japanese)

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Author Info

  • Yoshiro Miwa

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • J. Mark Ramseyer

    (Harvard Law School/CIRJE, University of Tokyo)

Abstract

Basic as it has become to studies of the Japanese economy, the concept of the "Keiretsu" is sheer fiction -- a creature of the academic imagination with no basis in real economic behavior. Almost all scholars writing on the subject use the categorization found in the annual Keiretsu no kenkyu [Research on the Keiretsu]. Published by an otherwise unknown Marxist "research institute" since 1960, the volume purports to sort firms by functional groupings. In fact, it simply sorts them by their principal loan source. If that loan source proxied for some unobserved variable, this sorting might be helpful. In fact, it does not. For example, among keiretsu firms, there is little cross-shareholding. Indeed, the non-financial firms in a given keiretsu hold stock in few other keiretsu firms at all. Although financial firms do buy stock in their debtors, they seem as likely to buy the stock of their non-keiretsu debtors as of keiretsu debtors. The lending patterns of financial firms in a keiretsu are usually uncorrelated, and much the same is true of their shareholding patterns.

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File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2000/2000cj38.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE J-Series with number CIRJE-J-38.

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Length: 85 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:2000cj38

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  1. Miwa Yoshiro & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2000. "Banks and Economic Growth: Implications from Japanese History," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-87, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1990. "The role of banks in reducing the costs of financial distress in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-88, September.
  3. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 1999. "Corporate Governance in Transitional Economies: Lessons from the Pre-War Japanese Cotton Textile Industry," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-48, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  4. Flath, David, 1993. "Shareholding in the Keiretsu, Japan's Financial Groups," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 249-57, May.
  5. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1997. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," NBER Working Papers 5996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Useful: A Comment On Kaplan And Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  7. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Not Valid Measures Of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 707-712, May.
  8. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1993. "The Choice Between Public and Private Debt: An Analysis of Post-Deregulation Corporate Financing in Japan," NBER Working Papers 4421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. McCloskey, Donald N, 1976. "Does the Past Have Useful Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 434-61, June.
  10. Prowse, Stephen D, 1992. " The Structure of Corporate Ownership in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1121-40, July.
  11. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  12. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 1999. "The Value of Prominent Directors," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 279, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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