Alan Blinder

Alan S. Blinder is the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics at Princeton University and Co-Director of Princeton's Center for Economic Policy Studies, which he founded in 1990. He has served as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and was a member of President Clinton's original Council of Economic Advisers.

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The Japanese economic system violates many of the basic principles of the Adam Smithian economics. Instead of crying “foul”, maybe we need to learn how and why Japan’s model works.

"I don't know whether the Japanese system is good or not. I just don't understand it." Bob Homer (an American baseball player who played in Japan) * * * A generation ago, "made in Japan" conjured up images of shoddy but inexpensive goods. Today that phrase is synonymous with high-quality, and high-priced, automobiles and consumer electronics. This much is familiar. But Americans are less familiar with something else made in Japan: a new and unique type of economic system that, while certainly not socialist, is not quite capitalist either. Economists have a well-developed theory of American-style capitalism but no comparable theory of the Japanese system, which has been called, among other things, "peoplism," "welfare corporatism," and "competitive communism." Developing a theory to explain the Japanese system, however, is a challenge of more than academic interest. It especially ought to be a challenge for those interested in economic equality. Everyone is aware of Japan's miraculous...