NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

An International Perspective of Japan's Corporate Groups and their Prospects

Yishay Yafeh

NBER Working Paper No. 9386
Issued in December 2002
NBER Program(s):   CF   EFG

This paper reviews the literature on corporate groups in Japan and elsewhere, and offers a comparison of Japan's corporate groups with groups in other developed and developing countries. It then proceeds to examine the evolution of corporate groups in Japan since the mid-1970s. The main conclusions that emerge are that: 1. Empirical evidence on the economic roles of corporate groups in Japan is limited. 2. Japanese groups are, in some respects, quite similar to groups in other countries, but their risk and return characteristics differ substantially. 3. There is little to suggest that over the past thirty years groups have had a major impact on Japan's industrial structure. In view of these findings, and because there is no evidence that Japanese groups (unlike those in some other countries) enjoy any particular political clout, it is unlikely that corporate groups will constitute an impediment to structural change in Japan.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9386

Published: Yishay Yafeh, 2003. "An International Perspective of Corporate Groups and Their Prospects," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 259-284 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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