The Japan That Never Was: Explaining the Rise and Decline of a Misunderstood Country

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Contests conventional wisdom on Japan's postwar economic success and its economic and political problems in the 1990s, providing a new account of these conditions.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Economist Beason and political scientist Patterson have teamed up to challenge the conventional interpretation of Japan's postwar "miracle" economy and its collapse in the 1990s. As their title bluntly puts it, Japan never was what most scholars claimed: a state-guided economy. They dismiss the idea that Japan's bureaucrats skillfully selected industries for state aid, asserting instead that it was politicians who guided decisions. Moreover, they argue, Japan's postwar success was not as awesome and the recent downturn not as dramatic as has been made out. Beason and Patterson have an important argument to make about the difficult decisions Japan faces as it prepares to carry out political and economic reforms. Unfortunately, the strenuous effort they put into criticizing the work of Japan specialists obscures their original findings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791460405
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Dick Beason is Professor of Economics at the University of Alberta and the coauthor (with Jason James) of The Political Economy of Japanese Financial Markets: Myths versus Reality.

Dennis Patterson is Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures


I. The Misunderstood Country

1. The Japan That Never Was
2. How Different Is Different? Bureaucrats, Politicians, and Economic Policy Making in Postwar Japan

II. Political Economics in a Capitalist Japan

3. The Problem of Japanese Industrial Policy
4. Management Practices and Labor Relations: A Japanese System or Economic Incentives?
5. The Postwar Japanese Economy: From High Growth to Structural Adjustment

III. Politics and Policy Making in a Democratic Nation

6. The Electoral Origins of Japan's Economic Policies
7. Political Change and Economic Policy Making
8. Postwar Japanese Politics: From LDP Predominance to Coalition Politics

IV. Japan in the New Millennium

9. The Past in Japan's Political-Economic Future




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