Early postwar Japan represented a Coasian social contract between an unproductive majority and a productive minority. The contract was possible and enforceable due to the American Occupation of Japan. It was socially desirable because it induced economic growth. It was self-enforcing due to specific Japanese conditions. However, the contract became socially undesirable as Japanese economy matured and the initial conditions changed, contributing to an increase in rent seeking. It also became unenforceable because the distribution of surpluses became more difficult as economic growth declined. As contractual enforcement mechanisms weakened, dynamic rent seeking activities further reduced Japanese economic growth rate (JLE# D72).
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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