A comparative perspective and an analytic approach grounded in mainstream economics distinguish this broad, accessible introduction to the Japanese economy. Throughout, Ito utilizes standard economic concepts in comparing Japan with the United States in terms of economic performances, underlying institutions, and government policies.Referring to cultural factors where appropriate, Ito subjects the basic facts about the Japanese economy to modern theoretical and empirical scrutiny, discussing macroeconomic growth, business cycles, monetary and fiscal policies, industrial structures and policies, the labor market, saving and investment, and international trade and finance.
Ito reviews relevant aspects of Japan's history before launching into a broad analysis of the country's markets and its economic policies. He concludes with a look at such contemporary economic issues as the Japanese distribution system, Japanese asset prices, and US-Japan trade conflicts.
Takatoshi Ito is Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Senior Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. He has served as Deputy Vice Minister for International Affairs in Japan's Ministry of Finance and as Senior Advisor in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.
Finally a book that covers all the important topics on the Japanese economy without giving up rigor of economic analysis. The best introduction to the Japanese economy that I know.
Takeo Hoshi, University of California
Pitched at an advanced undergraduate level, this is the best up-to-date textbook survey available on the contemporary Japanese economy. The author effectively combines analytical, factual and institutional approaches in quite comprehensive coverage of Japan's growth performance, saving and investment, labor and capital markets, foreign trade, and government economic policy. The text is well organized, clearly written, and unusually easy to read. Brief chapter appendicies on data sources, relevant theories, and suggested further readings are a futher big plus. I recommend this textbook on the contemporary Japanese economy highly.
Hugh T. Patrick, R.D. Calkins Professor of International Business, Columbia University