A number of U.S. and Japanese economists gathered in Tokyo on December 18, 1997 for a meeting of the NBER's Japan Project. The program, organized by NBER Research Associates Fumio Hayashi, also of University of Tokyo, Takatoshi Ito, also of Hitotsubashi University, and Anil K Kashyap, also of University of Chicago, was:
Michael R. Darby and Lynne Zucker, NBER and University of California, Los Angeles, "Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products" (NBER Working Paper No. 6360)
Discussant: Akiko Tamura, Hosei University
Lee G. Branstetter, NBER and University of California, Davis, "Are Knowledge Spillovers International or Intranational in Scope? Microeconometric Evidence from the U.S. and Japan" (NBER Working Paper No. 5800)
Discussant: Akira Goto, Hitotsubashi University
Michael D. Bordo, NBER and Rutgers University; Takatoshi Ito; and Tokuo Iwaisako, University of Tsukuba, "Banking Crises and Monetary Policy: Japan in the 1990s and the U.S. in the 1930s"
Discussant: Masahiro Higo, Bank of Japan
Gordon Bodnar and Richard C. Marston, NBER and University of Pennsylvania; and Bernard Dumas, NBER and HEC School of Management; "Pass-Through and Exposure"
Discussant: Eiji Ogawa, Hitotsubashi University
Takeo Hoshi, Osaka University; and John McMillan and Ulrike Schaede, University of California, San Diego, "Competition and Financial Structure in Japanese Firms"
Discussant: Mitsuhiro Fukao, Keio University
Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, London School of Economics, and Kenneth D. West, NBER and University of Wisconsin, "Land Prices and Business Fixed Investment in Japan"
Discussant: Hiroshi Yoshikawa, University of Tokyo
Using detailed data on biotechnology in Japan, Darby and Zucker report that identifiable collaborations between particular university star scientists and firms have a large positive impact on firms' research productivity, increasing the average firm's biotech patents by 34 percent and products on the market by 8 percent from 1989 to 1990. However, there is little evidence of geographically localized knowledge spillovers. In Japan, the legal and institutional context implies that firm scientists work in the stars' university laboratories. In America, in contrast, the stars are more likely to work in the firms' labs. As a result, star collaborations in Japan are less localized around the research universities, and there is less impact on local economic development in university areas. Stars' scientific productivity increases less during collaborations with firms in Japan than in the United States.
Branstetter points out important shortcomings in previous attempts to estimate the effects of intranational and international knowledge spillovers. Then, he provides new estimates of the relative impact of intranational and international knowledge spillovers on innovation and productivity at the firm level, using previously unexploited panel data from the United States and Japan that provide a rich description of the firms' technological activities and allow for potentially much more accurate measurement of spillover effects. The estimates indicate that knowledge spillovers are primarily intranational in scope.
Bordo, Ito, and Iwaisako compare the recession of the 1990s in Japan with the Great Depression of the United States in the 1930s. …