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Business Ownership and Unemployment in Japan

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  • Joost van Acht
  • Joop Stam
  • Roy Thurik
  • Ingrid Verheul

Abstract

The influence of industrial structure, more specifically of business ownership, is investigated on the level of unemployment in Japan. The question is to what extent business ownership, i.e., entrepreneurship, can reduce the level of unemployment. It will be concluded that Japan is hardly an outlier when using a simple model of the relationship between unemployment and the rate of business ownership. The model is calibrated using recent data of 23 OECD countries. It shows a minor underestimation of the rise in unemployment in Japan in the period 1984-2002. Arguments are brought forward why this might be the case. We argue that small firms in Japan have benefitted in the past from the protective environment of the keiretsu structure. In the current process of industrial restructuring, keiretsu support is dissipating, but has not yet been adequatly replaced with a market environment conducive to the establishment and growth of entrepreneurial firms. The underestimation of the rise in unemployment is a reflection of the limited access of small firms to the market in Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Joost van Acht & Joop Stam & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul, 2004. "Business Ownership and Unemployment in Japan," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2004-09
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    File URL: ftp://papers.econ.mpg.de/egp/discussionpapers/2004-09.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Aníbal Golpe & André van Stel, 2008. "Self-Employment and Unemployment in Spanish Regions in the Period 1979–2001," International Studies in Entrepreneurship, in: Emilio Congregado (ed.), Measuring Entrepreneurship, chapter 0, pages 191-204, Springer.
    2. Rui Baptista & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Unemployment: is Portugal an Outlier?," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-40, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    3. Gohmann, Stephan F. & Fernandez, Jose M., 2014. "Proprietorship and unemployment in the United States," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 289-309.
    4. Andre van Stel & Lendert Baljeu & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul, 2006. "The Contribution of Business Ownership in Bringing Down Unemployment in Japan," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; business ownership; unemployment; economic growth; Japan;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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