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Evolution, spatial selforganisation and path dependence : Tokyo's role as an international financial center

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    Abstract

    Japan's markets for money, capital and foreign exchange are among the biggest worldwide. For many years, Tokyo's role as the leading financial center in Asia has been unchallenged. However, recently, other places in the region such as Singapore and Hong Kong have invested heavily to strengthen their competitiveness, and countries like Malaysia and Thailand stand in line to follow their example. This raises two questions: First, how can the emergence of financial centers be explained in general? Second, what are Tokyo's longer-term prospects and how are they affected by the various influences? The study draws the attention to the role of evolutionary forces and the way by which micromotives and the interaction of many agents produces macrobehavior. In this preliminary paper representing a very early stage of research, financial markets are considered as emergent systems characterised by a high degree of complexity. Starting from an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a basic concept of the New Economic Geography possible alternatives to capture the idea of evolving financial markets are discussed. Then a tentative classification of financial places in Asia and, in particular, Tokyo's future role is given. -- Japans Finanzmärkte zählen zu den größten der Welt. Lange Zeit erschien die Rolle Tokios als führendes Finanzzentrum Ostasiens unumstritten. In den letzten Jahren haben jedoch in einigen Ländern der Region alte und neue Märkte begonnen, verstärkt in Wettbewerb dazu zu treten. Das wirft die Frage auf, welche Faktoren generell die Entwicklung von Finanzzentren beeinflussen und in welcher Weise insbesondere Tokio davon betroffen ist. Die folgende Studie, die höchst vorläufiger Natur ist und die Forschungsarbeit in einem sehr frühen Stadium darstellt, lenkt die Aufmerksamkeit auf die Bedeutung evolutionärer Veränderungen. Finanzmärkte werden hier als emergente Systeme betrachtet, die durch ein hohes Maß an Komplexität gekennzeichnet sind. Ausgangspunkt der Analyse ist eine Beschreibung der Stärken und Schwächen eines Ansatzes aus der Neuen Ökonomischen Geographie zur Erklärung von Agglomeration, die Weiterentwicklung seiner grundlegenden Ideen und die Untersuchung, in welcher Weise sich diese auf die Evolution von Finanzmärkten anwenden lassen. Daran schließt sich der Versuch einer vorläufigen Klassifikation von Finanzplätzen in Asien an, bei der besonderes Augenmerk auf Tokios zukünftige Rolle in der Region gerichtet ist.

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    Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 93.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26371

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    1. Fujita,Masahisa, 1989. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521346627, October.
    2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
    3. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-21, May.
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