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An epochal change... but uncertain futures: The Japanese capitalism in crisis. A "regulationist" interpretation


  • Boyer, Robert
  • Yamada, Toshio


This research summarizes the main findings of "Regulation" theory about the evolution of the Japanese economy since WWII and proposes an institutional interpretation of the crisis of the 90s. The company-ist compromise is the core of the whole institutional architecture via an original wage labour nexus, largely different from the American Fordist one. There is a clear hierarchy between the large corportation and sub-contractors. One observers a complementarity between the mode of governance of the firm and the main bank and finallybetween the industrial wselfare and the management of employment. A highly original "regulation" mode has allowed the implementation of a mass production and consumption economy, but this regime enters into crisis by its very success and this crisis is exacerbated by the impact of the financial bubble of the 90s. The paper surveys the transformation of the main institutional firms since the 90s and builds three scenarios based respectively upon: a large inertia of Japanese economic and political institutions; a quick adoption of typical market-led institutions under the pressure of financial market; or a new hybridization process that would concern banking and finance and not only the manufacturing industries, as was the case after WWII.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyer, Robert & Yamada, Toshio, 2000. "An epochal change... but uncertain futures: The Japanese capitalism in crisis. A "regulationist" interpretation," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0005, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:cepmap:0005

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    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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