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The Evolving Japanese Financial System, and the Cost of Capital

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel.

The paper surveys the extensive literature on whether Japanese corporations in the 1980s were able to finance investment more easily than Americans. Along the way, it considers: the leverage of Japanese firms, dividend payout, equity price/earnings ratios, corporate taxation, cross-ownership, speculative bubbles, international capital mobility, the lower cost of financing investment internally and through "main bank" relationships, and the move to a more market-oriented system as these relationships, and the move to a more market-oriented system as these relationships appeared to break down in the 1980s. The conclusion that emerges from the literature is that the cost of finance in the 1980s was indeed lower in Japan than in the United States, by a variety of measures. But trends of domestic and international liberalization, followed by the events of 1990-92, have now raised the cost of capital in Japan to the U.S. market level. Some unanswered questions remain, regarding the reported shifts in reliance by firms between banking relationships versus securities markets.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C92-002.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1992
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c92-002
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  1. Ito, Takatoshi, 1988. "Use of (Time-Domain) Vector Autoregressions to Test Uncovered Interest Parity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 296-305, May.
  2. Hodder, James E. & Tschoegl, Adrian E., 1985. "Some Aspects of Japanese Corporate Finance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 173-191, June.
  3. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 434-49, June.
  4. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  5. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  6. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1971. "Econometric Studies of Investment Behavior: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1111-47, December.
  7. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters, in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
  10. Frankel, Jeff & Phillips, Steve & Chinn, Menzie, 1992. "Financial and Currency Integration in the European Monetary System: The Statistical Record," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233177, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
  11. Gikas A. Hardouvelis & Stavros Peristiani, 1992. "Margin Requirements, Speculative Trading, and Stock Price Fluctuations: The Case of Japan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1333-1370.
  12. Glick, Reuven & Hutchison, Michael, 1990. "Financial liberalization in the Pacific Basin: Implications for real interest rate linkages," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 36-48, March.
  13. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  14. Hodder, James E., 1991. "Is the cost of capital lower in japan?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 86-100, March.
  15. Yuji Horioka, Charles, 0. "Why is Japan's Household Saving Rate So High? A Literature Survey," CEPR Publications, Stanford University, Center for Economic Policy Research.
  16. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Friend, Irwin & Tokutsu, Ichiro, 1987. "The cost of capital to corporations in Japan and the U.S.A," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 313-327, June.
  18. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1990. "Introduction to "Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment"," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. John B. Shoven, 1989. "The Japanese Tax Reform and the Effective Rate of Tax on Japanese Corporate Investments," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 97-115 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Fukao, Mitsuhiro & Okubo, Takashi, 1984. "International Linkage of Interest Rates: The Case of Japan and the United States," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 193-207, February.
  21. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1990. "Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number glen90-1, September.
  22. French, Kenneth R. & Poterba, James M., 1990. "Japanese and U.S. cross-border common stock investments," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 476-493, December.
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