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Japanese and Asian Economies

Japanese Economy I

For many years, this study unit's main undertaking was to estimate Japan's long-term economic statistics, a project in which a great number of past and present faculty members have been involved. The research is now complete, and our documentation staff have uploaded much of the data onto our computer network.

Further to this project, this study unit concentrates on empirical research on the Japanese economy prior to, and at the time of, modern economic growth since the late 19th century. A main line of research is the analysis of the economic, social and demographic conditions that contributed to modern economic growth. The unit also analyses the growth process itself, as well as studying various aspects of socio-economic change. Recently, special attention has been paid to the analysis of institutions in the process of modern economic growth.

Japanese Economy II

This study unit's main tasks are the comprehensive analysis of the Japanese economy since the beginning of modern economic growth and the determination of key factors in its rapid postwar growth.

To this end, both the monetary and real sides of the economy, and their interactions, are analyzed with respect to the growth process. On the real side, capital accumulation, labor supply and technological progress in production, wage and income distribution, consumption, and investment and savings come under analysis. On the monetary side, the development of monetary and financial systems, their roles in the growth process and the mechanisms of price fluctuations are discussed.

Recently, the research has laid emphasis on the evolution and future of the so-called Japanese economic system. Extensive research is being conducted on the role of banks and the employment system in the corporate governance of Japan.

Asian Economies I

The study unit's research concentrates on direct analyses of various markets (industries) in Asian countries by applying the mainstream-economics approach. The application of this approach presupposes the existence of functional market mechanisms in those markets (industries).

The research specifically includes in its approach, therefore (1) theoretical studies of the development of the market itself, and (2) empirical investigation of market mechanisms in those industries or countries.

In the first area, the study unit engages both in studies of conventional economic development theories, and in comparative studies of Asian economies with the economy of pre-war Japan. In the second area, the unit concentrates on studies of, for example, household behavior, factory management, and technology development in order to determine the degree of market development.

Research projects at the Institute to compile long-term economic statistics for Asian countries also support and augment this unit's research.

Asian Economies II

Development of the market mechanism is not simply an economic phenomenon. Economic development (i.e., development of the market), therefore, should be analyzed from a broader perspective that recognizes its socio-economic and economic-institutional (cultural) aspects. This study unit bases its research on an interdisciplinary approach. Studies conducted thus far include analyses of the village community, educational development, entrepreneurship, colonial burdens, distribution networks, and workers' job consciousness, in different Asian countries.

Again, the Japanese experience as regards these issues is quite instructive, and sheds light on the current conditions in the Asian economies. The unit also conducts joint research with external specialists on the above topics.

Research Topics of the Members

ABE, Naohito

  1. Household consumption: Model building and structural estimation of Japanese household consumption and saving behavior
  2. Price dynamics: Investigation of macro price dynamics based on large scanner data sets


  1. Empirics on the effect of employment protection in Japan
  2. Empirics on the efficiency of matching in Japanese employment agencies
  3. Empirics on the change in Japanese labor markets during the 1990s and 2000s


Microeconomic and microeconometric analysis of economic development

  1. Poverty, vulnerability, and human capital in South and Southeast Asia
  2. Credit market, communities, and economic development in Pakistan
  3. Long-term growth process of agriculture in South Asia


  1. Comparative Historical Analysis of Child Adoption in Japan and the U.S.
  2. Comparative Analysis of the Evolution of the Employment Relations in Japan and the U.S.
  3. Comparative Analysis of the Evolution of Income Inequality in Japan and the U.S.