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Japan Remodeled: How Government and Industry Are Reforming Japanese Capitalism (Cornell Studies in Political Economy) [Paperback]

by Steven K. Vogel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 21, 2006 0801473713 978-0801473715 1
As the Japanese economy languished in the 1990s Japanese government officials, business executives, and opinion leaders concluded that their economic model had gone terribly wrong. They questioned the very institutions that had been credited with Japan's past success: a powerful bureaucracy guiding the economy, close government-industry ties, "lifetime" employment, the main bank system, and dense interfirm networks. Many of these leaders turned to the U.S. model for lessons, urging the government to liberate the economy and companies to sever long-term ties with workers, banks, suppliers, and other firms.Despite popular perceptions to the contrary, Japanese government and industry have in fact enacted substantial reforms. Yet Japan never emulated the American model. As government officials and industry leaders scrutinized their options, they selected reforms to modify or reinforce preexisting institutions rather than to abandon them. In Japan Remodeled, Steven Vogel explains the nature and extent of these reforms and why they were enacted.Vogel demonstrates how government and industry have devised innovative solutions. The cumulative result of many small adjustments is, he argues, an emerging Japan that has a substantially redesigned economic model characterized by more selectivity in business partnerships, more differentiation across sectors and companies, and more openness to foreign players.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Since early 2002, Japan has been on a steady economic rebound. Japan Remodeled by Steven K. Vogel, political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, gets beyond the punditry by presenting a social-science understanding tested against executive interviews, company case studies and foreign comparisons. It is. . . the best analysis in English of Japan's distinctive market economy."—New York Times, 7 January 2007

"Vogel's book is a very important contribution that should stand up well for a number of years. His approach is careful, nuanced, appropriately eclectic, somewhat skeptical, and very readable. I believe he successfully explains why economic reform is not causing a convergence between the Japanese version of capitalism and that of the United States (puncturing a belief that was popular among Wall Street investors in the late 1990s). He also provides convincing arguments about the uncertain impact of much of the reform effort."—Edward J. Lincoln, 33:2 (2007), Journal of Japanese Studies

"Japan Remodeled is an important book. Japan's economic system is undergoing major transformation exacerbated by 15 years of malaise. Steven Vogel provides a sophisticated, careful, rather cautionary analysis of Japan's processes and patterns of public policy reform and corporate restructuring. He cogently argues Japan's capitalism is being reshaped partially toward a liberal market system, but with distinctive institutions and values persisting."—Hugh Patrick, Columbia University

"Japan Remodeled provides a very broad discussion of Japanese capitalism, covering a number of industries and firms in a way that masterfully surveys the Japanese economy as a whole. It provides an elegant explanation for why things haven't changed more than they have, which is simply that the Japanese don't want more change. Steven Vogel brilliantly gets the story right, neither exaggerating nor minimizing the changes that have occurred; he is both commonsensical and honest about Japanese politics."—Mark Tilton, Purdue University

From the Back Cover

"Japan Remodeled is an important book. Japan's economic system is undergoing major transformation exacerbated by 15 years of malaise. Steven Vogel provides a sophisticated, careful, rather cautionary analysis of Japan's processes and patterns of public policy reform and corporate restructuring. He cogently argues Japan's capitalism is being reshaped partially toward a liberal market system, but with distinctive institutions and values persisting."--Hugh Patrick, Columbia University

"Japan Remodeled provides a very broad discussion of Japanese capitalism, covering a number of industries and firms in a way that masterfully surveys the Japanese economy as a whole. It provides an elegant explanation for why things haven't changed more than they have, which is simply that the Japanese don't want more change. Steven Vogel brilliantly gets the story right, neither exaggerating nor minimizing the changes that have occurred; he is both commonsensical and honest about Japanese politics."-Mark Tilton, Purdue University


Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Political Economy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (December 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801473713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801473715
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japan Is Changing, But In Distinctly Japanese Ways September 15, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Twenty years ago, Japanese management wall all the rage. Then came a long, protracted slump and attention turned elsewhere. Japan fell into oblivion. But while nobody took notice, an interesting thing happened. The Japanese model implemented its own transformation. It was remodeled into something new, but still distinctly Japanese. How this transformation occurred and what kind of new model came into being form the story of this book.

The Japanese traditional system differs from the liberal market model in important ways. It emphasizes the benefits of long-term relationships in labor, banking, and supplier relations. You have an active external labor market on the one hand, a lifetime employment system and a dual economy on the other. A market for corporate control dominated by shareholders' rights versus a main bank system and stakeholders governance. Free market entry and exit versus supplier networks. No model is intrinsically better, although the liberal model may be better adapted to a fast-changing economy at the technology frontier or to sectors where radical innovations occur, whereas the Japanese model has an institutional advantage in a catching-up phase or in sectors that rely on incremental improvements in production processes, such as automobiles and consumer electronics.

Contrary to what some expected, the Japanese model did not converge toward the U.S. one. Nor did it become an hybrid, although elements of flexibility were introduced at various levels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Japan's Reform: New Sake in Old Bottle ? July 8, 2013
By Fang
Format:Paperback
 Conventional wisdom holds that since a major succession in late 1980s, Japan's economic model, once highly praised as an alternative of American "free market" system, has been doomed. Steven Vogel, on the other hand, presented a different view with rich details, arguing that Japan did not relinquish the model in its entirety. Rather, Japan government and industry cooperated to reform in a manner that is both more acceptable by "global" standards of capitalism, and still compatible with traditional norms and government/public preferences, which amounted to a mixture of Japanese and American style of capitalism. In fact, the process was so complicated and the depth of reform so different across various sectors, that the word "renovate" instead of "remodel" might be a more suitable description: being pressured to change the details of its economic system by piece-meal reforms toward free market capitalism, Japan nevertheless preserved the core structure of its post-War economic framework. In an ancient East Asian saying, Japan has pured new Sake of economic policy and institutions into an old bottle of socio-economic norms.
  
  Aiming at studying Japan's reform primarily in 1990s, Vogel's approach is actually quite generalizable to analyze large scale reforms of socio-economic model, though not well laid-down enough to be a comprehensive "theory" of institutional reform. Defining the Japan model as a "constellation of instutions.....linked together into a distinct national system of economic governance" ( p.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quick and good! March 3, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book is one of my required textbook, I ordered from Amazon, quick action and very good service!
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