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Evolution, spatial selforganisation and path dependence : Tokyo's role as an international financial center


  • Reszat, Beate


Japan's markets for money, capital and foreign exchange are among the biggest worldwide. For many years, Tokyo's role as the leading financial center in Asia has been unchallenged. However, recently, other places in the region such as Singapore and Hong Kong have invested heavily to strengthen their competitiveness, and countries like Malaysia and Thailand stand in line to follow their example. This raises two questions: First, how can the emergence of financial centers be explained in general? Second, what are Tokyo's longer-term prospects and how are they affected by the various influences? The study draws the attention to the role of evolutionary forces and the way by which micromotives and the interaction of many agents produces macrobehavior. In this preliminary paper representing a very early stage of research, financial markets are considered as emergent systems characterised by a high degree of complexity. Starting from an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a basic concept of the New Economic Geography possible alternatives to capture the idea of evolving financial markets are discussed. Then a tentative classification of financial places in Asia and, in particular, Tokyo's future role is given.

Suggested Citation

  • Reszat, Beate, 2000. "Evolution, spatial selforganisation and path dependence : Tokyo's role as an international financial center," HWWA Discussion Papers 93, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26371

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455, March.
    2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-1547, September.
    3. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-421, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • N25 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Asia including Middle East
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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