Changing the Guard

Richard B. Freeman

in Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780226620947
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226620954 | DOI:
Changing the Guard

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At the turn of the twenty-first century, many analysts view the United States as the peak capitalist economy—the economy whose institutions other countries should emulate. A decade or so earlier, analysts saw the United States in a very different light. In the 1970s and 1980s most viewed Japan as the peak capitalist economy. The “changing of the guard” from Japan to the United States as peak capitalist economy raises important questions about the relation between economic institutions and outcomes. Is there in fact a single capitalist model that deserves the title of peak economy? Does the performance of the U.S. and Japanese economies support the notion that in the 1990s the United States had the right stuff, whereas in the 1980s Japan had the best economic institutions? What features of the U.S. system enabled it to outperform other capitalist countries in the 1990s? How do these features compare to those that enabled Japan to outperform other capitalist countries in the 1990s? This chapter examines these questions.

Keywords: U.S. economy; Japanese economy; peak capitalist economy; economic institutions; capitalist model

Chapter.  8025 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business and Management

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