The success (and misfortunes) of the post-war Japanese economy has been one of the most debated points in modern economics. Many explanations focus on cultural and institutional factors, and in particular the role of 'Informality' (networks organizing business activity and government policy). Adrian van Rixtel, an economist at the European Central Bank, provides a quantitative and qualitative assessment of Informality in the formation of Japanese monetary policy. Having been based in Japan for three years, two years of which were spent at the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies at the Bank of Japan and the Japanese Ministry of Finance, he is able to bring a unique 'insider-outsider' perspective to the subject.
• Essential for all students of the Japanese economy • Major theoretical, business and policy implications • Author provides unique 'insider-outsider' perspective
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; Part I. Theory: 2. The political economy and economic system of Japan: a survey of literature, conflict and confusion; 3. Informal aspects of Japanese economic policy; 4. Informality and monetary policy: an operational framework; Part II. The Institutions and their Policies: 5. Informality, monetary authorities and monetary policy: the pre-1998 reform regime; 6. Informality, banking crisis and financial reform: 1998 and beyond; Part III. Empirical Evidence: 7. Amakudari in the private banking industry: an empirical investigation; 8. Amakudari and the performance of Japanese banks; 9. Conclusion: informality, monetary policy and bank performance - lessons from the Japanese experience; Bibliography; Index.