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The Successful Imitation of the Japanese Lean Production System by American Firms: Impact on American Economic Growth


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    This paper provides some quantitative evidence about the strong links between the Lean Production System (LPS) or equivalently the holistic Just-in-Time/Quality Control (JIT/QC) system and sectoral (micro) economic growth. This evidence is supported by qualitative arguments that present the LPS or the JIT/QC philosophy as a major and fundamental organizational feature of modern economies. Though the implementation of such a system originated in Japan, the USA have been in the process of catching up in the last fifteen years. Subsequently, recently published American sectoral data (for the period between 1958 and 1996) are used to provide ample quantitative evidence of the role the JIT/QC organizational philosophy played in shaping and leading the American macro and sectoral economies in the last 40 years. The implications for the theory of economic growth and economic policy are also briefly stated.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp01-02.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp01-02

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
    Phone: +612 4221-3659
    Fax: +612 4221-3725
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    Keywords: Lean Production; Just -in-Time; Quality Control; organization; American; Japanese; transaction costs; sectors; regression; error correction model; stationarity; total factor productivity; labor productivity; economic growth.;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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    1. Marvin B. Lieberman & Lieven Demeester, 1999. "Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: Linkages in the Japanese Automotive Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 466-485, April.
    2. Coase Ronald, 1991. "The Institutional Structure of Production," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 10, December.
    3. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107, October.
    4. repec:fth:harver:1487 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Shirley J Daniel & Wolf D Reitsperger, 1991. "Management Control Systems for J.I.T.: An Empirical Comparison of Japan and the U.S," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(4), pages 603-617, December.
    6. Kevin J. Stiroh & Dale W. Jorgenson, 2000. "U.S. Economic Growth at the Industry Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 161-167, May.
    7. Michael Dietrich, 1993. "Total Quality Control, Just-in-Time Management, and the Economics of the Firm," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(6), pages 17-31, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sanidas, Elias & Jayanthakumaran, Kankesu, 2003. "Trade Reforms and the Survival of the Passenger Motor Vehicle Industry in Australia," Economics Working Papers wp03-10, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    2. Sanidas, E., 2002. "Organizational Innovations of Firms from the 1850s in the USA and Japan," Economics Working Papers wp02-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    3. Sanidas, Elias, 2002. "Manufacturing Sectoral Growth in the USA and Japan: Relevance to SMEs, Organizational Innovations, and Recent Economic Growth," Economics Working Papers wp02-09, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    4. Sanidas, E., 2001. "Taxonomy of Operations, Costs and Benefits Relevant to the Creation, Existence, Evolution and Growth of Firms," Economics Working Papers wp01-12, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    5. Sanidas, Elias, 2002. "Leading Manufacturing Sectors in the USA and Japan During 1899-1937 and Organizational Innovations: Embeddedness for Corporate Strategy," Economics Working Papers wp02-20, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.


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