Working Paper
Japan's Model of Economic Development

Relevant and Nonrelevant Elements for Developing Economies

Japan was the first non-western country to accomplish successful industrialization, and the dominant perception of its ‘industrial policy’ had over-emphasized specific characteristics of Japan. However, from the perspective of today’s development thinking, Japan’s economic history shared a wide range of common factors in usual economic development: macroeconomic stability, human resource development, and economic infrastructure. Industrial policy in Japan sometimes worked well and sometimes did not, depending on how effectively it counteracted market failure and took advantage of market dynamism. We must note, however, that the external conditions faced by Japan were widely different from what today’s developing countries face.