The Evolution of the World Economy

The Evolution of the World Economy

The ‘Flying-Geese’ Theory of Multinational Corporations and Structural Transformation

New Horizons in International Business series

Terutomo Ozawa

The world economy is near a critical crossroads, as a rising China, the greatest-ever beneficiary of US-led capitalism, ironically dreams big to replace America's supremacy as a new hegemonic power with a non-liberal world order. This third volume of the trilogy on ‘flying-geese’ theory reformulation explains how capitalism has changed industrial structures across the world. Using structural development economics and political economy analytics the unfolding changes in the global industrial landscape are examined in depth. Will the ‘flying-geese’ formation survive the formation that has produced the East Asian miracle and is hoped to spread to Africa?

Chapter 1: Why Akamatsu’s original theory needs reformulation

Terutomo Ozawa

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, asian economics, business and management, asia business, international business, economics and finance, asian economics, industrial economics, international economics

Abstract

Kaname Akamatsu set forth the flying-geese theory of economic development as back as the 1930s, drawing on his statistical studies of Japan’s trade in manufactures in 1870_1939. He considered essential the old-fashioned, highly nationalistic, infant-industry protection strategy, a strategy that was designed to propel the three-step sequence of import, domestic production, and export, all by indigenous firms in avoidance of incursions by foreign interests. Arm’s-length trade was the major mode of exchange. Since then, however, the world economy has drastically changed. Multinational corporations (MNCs) are now ubiquitous, setting up production and marketing facilities in each other’s economies. The three-step sequence is carried out instantaneously at the hands of MNCs: local production is initiated simultaneously for export as well as for import substitution. MNCs’ involvement in the three-step sequence is explored.