Corruption in Japan - An Economist´s Perspective

Corruption in Japan and its recent changes are discussed by applying some standard economic methods and by utilising cross-country comparisons. After giving an overview of corruption in Japan, the effects of corruption on allocation, investment and growth are discussed. It is then asked whether the character of corruption in Japan has changed in recent years and to what effect. Finally, some policy options are discussed. It is concluded that the usually negative effects of corruption have been mellowed in Japan´s history, because "one stop" corruption offered business at least a predictable framework to reckon with. It is questionable whether recent changes (electoral reform, bashing of bureaucrats, published scandals, etc.) really improve the situation: the move away from "one stop" corruption may increase unpredictability, and the decline of long-term - so-called generalized exchange - relationships may imply that behavioural patterns involving corruption will not be limited to the networks of specific policy arenas (like electoral politics) any more, but spread into other areas as well.


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Duisburg Working Papers on East Asian Studies


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