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A Reconsideration of the Rationale for Bank-Centered Economic Systems and the Effectiveness of Directed Credit Policies in the Light of Japanese Evidence

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  • Richard A. Werner
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    Directed credit is seen by recent literature as having contributed to high post-war economic growth in several Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Its use, however, remains controversial. This paper adopts ex ante predictive power as criterion for the evaluation of the usefulness of theories and policies. For this purpose it attempts to identify the historical rationale of the credit direction policies adopted by Japanâthe East Asian country that developed earliest and most successfully. It is found that Japan's directed credit policymakers modeled their system on the practice of the Reichsbank, under its president Hjalmar Schacht in the 1920s, and the economic thought of German development economists at the time, who argued for a strong role of banks as conduits of official guidance within an overall growth-oriented institutional design. This paper provides some support for directed credit policies and offers an alternative explanation for the emergence of a bank-based financial system in Japan and other countries.

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    Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Japanese Economy.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 3-45

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    Handle: RePEc:mes:jpneco:v:30:y:2002:i:3:p:3-45
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