Japan's High Technology Industries: Lessons and Limitations of Industrial Policy

Japan's High Technology Industries: Lessons and Limitations of Industrial Policy

Japan's High Technology Industries: Lessons and Limitations of Industrial Policy

Japan's High Technology Industries: Lessons and Limitations of Industrial Policy

Excerpt

High technology industries, industrial policy, and the Japanese economy are individually important topics of scholarly interest and public policy consideration in the United States. Japanese industrial policies toward high technology industries—the fusion of these three topics—has produced a new, qualitatively different subject of deep concern, both intellectually and in terms of U.S. public policy debate and formulation, which has at times resulted in more heat than light. This book aims to provide a careful, objective analysis and evaluation of Japanese high technology industrial policy and assess its relevance for the United States.

Is Japanese high technology industrial policy a model for the United States to emulate? Is it an "unfair" application of government policy by the Japanese? "Fairness" is a murky concept in international economics and even in the politics of the international system. Even if Japan is not deemed to be behaving unfairly, does its industrial policy behavior require a special American response if the United States is to restore competitiveness in its own and world markets? Is Japanese industrial policy in its actual practice in fact very effective? And if it was effective earlier, will it continue to be in the new circumstances of the 1980s? What are the Japanese government's industrial policies toward high tech industries, what resources are involved, and how successful will the policies be? What can America learn from the Japanese experience? Many views abound, as do American stereotypes of the Japanese system of industrial policy and its effectiveness.

American policy interest in Japanese industrial policy for high technology industries heats up and cools down, depending on the current status of both the domestic industrial policy debate and the economic relationship between the United States and Japan. However, the underlying economic and public policy issues are long term and profound in nature. They strike at the heart of concerns in all advanced industrial democracies as to the proper role of government in the marketplace: how and whether the political economy of government involvement results in more, or in less, efficient allocation of resources over time, and the extent to which government policy can fine-tune the supply side of the economy by sector‐ specific industrial policies, to note two of the central issues underlying the industrial policy debate.

To understand the nature of Japanese high technology policy in the new circumstances of the 1980s and beyond, and to assess its relevance for . . .

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