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"Investment Wave, Vintage Spike and Productivity: Rethinking "Industrial Rationalization" in Postwar Japan"(in Japanese)

  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

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    In the early 1950s, "industrial rationalization," i.e. renovation and modernization of industrial equipments became the focus of the industrial policy as well as the corporate strategy. In this paper, I explored its historical background and implication. Estimating the vintage of capital stock from 1916 to 1964, I found that the wave of investment during the war brought about a sharp spike in the time-series of the vintage. At the same time, equipment-level vintage data on the iron and steel industry indicate that the vintage distribution in 1949 had a spike reflecting the wartime investment wave. "Industrial rationalization" can be interpreted as a measure to prevent a potential surge of the average vintage due to the vintage spike caused by the wartime investment wave. Through an analysis of establishment-level data of steel-making, it was confirmed that increase of the vintage gave a substantial negative impact on labor productivity.

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    Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE J-Series with number CIRJE-J-199.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:2008cj199
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