Political and Economic Opening as a Post-Crisis Strategy for Japan
Keywords:Economic growth, Japan, Trade balance, Technological change, Labour market, population, Energy production
In economics literature, the sources of economic growth in general and in Japan in particular have been appraised either from the supply-side, with the emphasis on capital accumulation, labour, total factor productivity and – given the advent of the new growth models – on technological change, or from the demand side. The study on Japanese growth by Chenery et al. (1962) was an early demand-based study that looked at the drivers of economic growth and structural change over the period 1914-1954. Using input-output methods and taking into account the contribution of technological change11 over this long-time period, the authors found two distinct early sub-periods of economic growth: the 1914-1935 and the 1935-1954 sub-periods. The first (1914-1935) is characterised by a rise in domestic income (by 4.5 per cent per annum) with large increases in exports. The second (1935-1954) is marked by the loss of colonial supplies of raw materials and by a substantial fall in exports; this second sub-period is also marked by import substitution policies and by the rising importance of technological change. The findings for the first sub-period mirror Japan’s emergence as an economic and geostrategic power, affirming first its colonial ambitions in East-Asia through the development of its many manufacturing networks, in the region as a whole and in Korea in particular (Inkster, 2001).
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