IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Keiretsu and Relationship-Specific Investment: A Barrier to Trade?

  • Spencer, Barbara J
  • Qiu, Larry D

This article develops a model of informal procurement within Japanese keiretsu so as to consider effects on intermediate-good imports such as auto parts. Parts-suppliers make relationship specific investments that benefit the automaker and prices are determined by bargaining after investment has been sunk. Although this investment raises efficiency, it limits the range of imports to less important parts, such as tailpipes, and it is possible that no parts are imported, despite lower foreign costs. Lack of information concerning investment rents combined with counterintuitive responses of imports to changes in output and costs could create unwarranted perceptions of a trade barrier.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 42 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 871-901

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:42:y:2001:i:4:p:871-901
Contact details of provider: Postal: 160 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
Phone: (215) 898-8487
Fax: (215) 573-2057
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Barbara J. Spencer & Ronald W. Jones, 1989. "Trade and Protection in Vertically Related Markets," NBER Working Papers 3023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Krishna, Kala & Morgan, John, 1998. "Implementing results-oriented trade policies: The case of the US-Japanese auto parts dispute," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1443-1467, September.
  3. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra & Deng-Shing Huang & Gary G. Hamilton, 1997. "Business Groups and Trade in East Asia: Part 1, Networked Equilibria," NBER Working Papers 5886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marvel, Howard P, 1982. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, April.
  6. Fung, K. C., 2002. "International Trade and Bank Groups: Welfare Enhancing or Welfare Reducing?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 212-226, June.
  7. Banri Asanuma, 1985. "The Organization of Parts Purchases in the Japanese Automotive Industry," Japanese Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 13(4), pages 32-53, July.
  8. Krishna, K & Roy, S & Thursby, M, 1996. "Implementaing Market Access," Papers 96-003, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  9. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1991. "Efficient or Exclusionist: The Import Behavior of Japanese Corporate Groups," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 311-341.
  10. McLaren, John, 1999. "Supplier relations and the market context: A theory of handshakes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 121-138, June.
  11. Asanuma, Banri, 1989. "Manufacturer-supplier relationships in Japan and the concept of relation-specific skill," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, March.
  12. Greaney, Theresa M., 1999. "Manipulating market shares: The indirect effects of voluntary import expansions (VIEs)," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 95-113, January.
  13. Perry, Martin K., 1989. "Vertical integration: Determinants and effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 183-255 Elsevier.
  14. Larry D. Qiu & Barbara J. Spencer, 2001. "Keiretsu and Relationship-Specific Investment: Implications for Market-Opening Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 8279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Weinstein, D.E. & Yafeh, Y., 1993. "Japan's Corporate Groups: Collusive or Competitive? An Empirical Investigation of Keiretsu Behavior," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1623, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Spencer, Barbara J & Raubitschek, Ruth S, 1996. "High-Cost Domestic Joint Ventures and International Competition: Do Domestic Firms Gain?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 315-40, May.
  17. K.C. Fung, 1991. "Characteristics of Japanese Industrial Groups and Their Potential Impact on U. S . - Japanese Trade," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy, pages 137-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Taylor, Curtis R & Wiggins, Steven N, 1997. "Competition or Compensation: Supplier Incentives under the American and Japanese Subcontracting Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 598-618, September.
  19. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1993. "Japan's Different Trade Regime: An Analysis with Particular Reference to Seiretsu," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:42:y:2001:i:4:p:871-901. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.