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An International Perspective of Japan's Corporate Groups and their Prospects


  • Yishay Yafeh


This paper reviews the literature on corporate groups in Japan and elsewhere, and offers a comparison of Japan's corporate groups with groups in other developed and developing countries. It then proceeds to examine the evolution of corporate groups in Japan since the mid-1970s. The main conclusions that emerge are that: 1. Empirical evidence on the economic roles of corporate groups in Japan is limited. 2. Japanese groups are, in some respects, quite similar to groups in other countries, but their risk and return characteristics differ substantially. 3. There is little to suggest that over the past thirty years groups have had a major impact on Japan's industrial structure. In view of these findings, and because there is no evidence that Japanese groups (unlike those in some other countries) enjoy any particular political clout, it is unlikely that corporate groups will constitute an impediment to structural change in Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Yishay Yafeh, 2002. "An International Perspective of Japan's Corporate Groups and their Prospects," NBER Working Papers 9386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9386
    Note: CF EFG

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Garen Markarian & Antonio Parbonetti & Gary John Previts, 2007. "The Convergence of Disclosure and Governance Practices in the World's Largest Firms," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 294-310, March.
    2. Yener Altunbaş & Alper Kara & Adrian van Rixtel, 2007. "Corporate governance and corporate ownership: The investment behaviour of Japanese institutional investors," Occasional Papers 0703, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    3. de Jong, A. & Roosenboom, P.G.J. & Schramade, W.L.J., 2005. "Bond underwriting fees and keiretsu affiliation in Japan," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-038-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    4. Berhanu Abegaz, 2005. "The Diversified Business Group as an Innovative Organizational Model for Large State-Enterprise Reform in China and Vietnam," Working Papers 13, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

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    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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