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The Fable of the Keiretsu

  • Miwa, Yoshiro
  • Ramseyer, J. Mark

For Western economists and journalists, the most distinctive facet of the post-war Japanese business world has been the keiretsu, or the insular business alliances among powerful corporations. Within keiretsu groups, argue these observers, firms preferentially trade, lend money, take and receive technical and financial assistance, and cement their ties through cross-shareholding agreements. In The Fable of the Keiretsu, Yoshiro Miwa and J. Mark Ramseyer demonstrate that all this talk is really just urban legend. In their insightful analysis, the authors show that the very idea of the keiretsu was created and propagated by Marxist scholars in post-war Japan. Western scholars merely repatriated the legend to show the culturally contingent nature of modern economic analysis. Laying waste to the notion of keiretsu , the authors debunk several related “facts” as well: that Japanese firms maintain special arrangements with a “main bank,” that firms are systematically poorly managed, and that the Japanese government guided post-war growth. In demolishing these long-held assumptions, they offer one of the few reliable chronicles of the realities of Japanese business.

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This book is provided by University of Chicago Press in its series University of Chicago Press Economics Books with number 9780226532707 and published in 2006.
Edition: 0
ISBN: 9780226532707
Order: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/isbn/9780226532707.html
Handle: RePEc:ucp:bkecon:9780226532707
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://press.uchicago.edu

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  1. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  2. Kang, Jun-Koo & Shivdasani, Anil, 1995. "Firm performance, corporate governance, and top executive turnover in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 29-58, May.
  3. Kang, Jun-Koo & Shivdasani, Anil, 1996. "Does the Japanese Governance System Enhance Shareholder Wealth? Evidence from the Stock-Price Effects of Top Management Turnover," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(4), pages 1061-95.
  4. Branstetter, Lee, 2000. "Vertical Keiretsu and Knowledge Spillovers in Japanese Manufacturing: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 73-104, June.
  5. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2003. "Does Ownership Matter? Evidence from the Zaibatsu Dissolution Program," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 67-89, 03.
  6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Useful: A Comment On Kaplan And Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  7. Miwa Yoshiro & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2000. "Banks and Economic Growth: Implications from Japanese History," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-87, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  8. Randall Morck & Masao Nakamura, 1999. "Banks and Corporate Control in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 319-339, 02.
  9. Fumio Hayashi & Tohru Inoue, 1990. "The Relation Between Firm Growth and Q with Multiple Capital Goods: Theory and Evidence from Panel Data on Japanese Firms," NBER Working Papers 3326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Berglof, Erik & Perotti, Enrico, 1994. "The governance structure of the Japanese financial keiretsu," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 259-284, October.
  11. Fukuda, Atsuo & Hirota, Shinichi, 1996. "Main Bank Relationships and Capital Structure in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 250-261, September.
  12. Prowse, Stephen D., 1990. "Institutional investment patterns and corporate financial behavior in the United States and Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 43-66, September.
  13. David E. Weinstein & Yishay Yafeh, 1998. "On the Costs of a Bank-Centered Financial System: Evidence from the Changing Main Bank Relations in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 635-672, 04.
  14. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Gary R. Saxonhouse, 1993. "What Does Japanese Trade Structure Tell Us about Japanese Trade Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 21-43, Summer.
  16. 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.
  17. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  18. Hanazaki, Masaharu & Horiuchi, Akiyoshi, 2000. "Is Japan's Financial System Efficient?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 61-73, Summer.
  19. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1990. "The Role of Banks in Reducing the Costs of Financial Distress in Japan," NBER Working Papers 3435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kaplan, Steven N. & Minton, Bernadette A., 1994. "Appointments of outsiders to Japanese boards: Determinants and implications for managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 225-258, October.
  21. Kang, Jun-Koo & Stulz, Rene M, 2000. "Do Banking Shocks Affect Borrowing Firm Performance? An Analysis of the Japanese Experience," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-23, January.
  22. Kang, Jun-Koo & Shivdasani, Anil, 1997. "Corporate restructuring during performance declines in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-65, October.
  23. Flath, David, 1996. "The Keiretsu Puzzle," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 101-121, June.
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