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Industrial Policy Cuts Two Ways: Evidence from Cotton-Spinning Firms in Japan, 1956-1964

  • Kozo Kiyota
  • Tetsuji Okazaki

A number of studies have revealed a negative effect of industrial policy on productivity growth. Is this because industrial policy fails to control the activities of firms or because it can effectively control them? This paper attempts to answer these questions, using firm-level data from the cotton-spinning industry in Japan for the period 1956-64. We determine that industrial policy cut two ways during this period. Industrial policy effectively controlled the output of cotton-spinning firms, which contributed to the establishment of a stable market structure during the period. On the flip side, such policy constrained the reallocation of resources from less productive large firms to more productive small firms. Combined with the negative productivity growth in large firms during this period, industrial policy resulted in negative productivity growth in the industry.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 587 - 609

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/605129
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  1. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  2. Klette, T.J., 1992. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators when Output Prices are unobserved and Endogenous," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1586, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pavcnik, Nina, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 245-76, January.
  5. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," IMF Working Papers 05/146, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Aghion, Ph. & Dewatripont, M. & Rey, P., 1997. "Corporate governance, competition policy and industrial policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 797-805, April.
  8. Kiyota, Kozo & Okazaki, Tetsuji, 2005. "Foreign technology acquisition policy and firm performance in Japan, 1957-1970: Micro-aspects of industrial policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 563-586, September.
  9. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
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