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 2: The classical origins of Akamatsu’s ideas: a missing link to David Hume’s ‘flying-manufacturers’ theory

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

This chapter examines some important classical origins of Akamatsu’s ideas. While studying in Germany in 1924_26, Akamatsu was strongly influenced by a variety of the stages theories of development expounded by the German Historical School. As he himself acknowledged, ‘his’ idea of the infant-industry protection-driven, three-step sequence of import, domestic production, and export was directly borrowed from Friedrich List’s (1885/1966) book, The National System of Political Economy. However, why did Akamatsu fail to notice what may be called the ‘flying-manufacturers’ theory advanced by David Hume (1754/1985), a theory that no doubt adumbrated Akamatsu’s ‘flying-geese’ theory? This is probably because the German Historical School that stressed inductive reasoning and empiricism was at loggerheads with the British Classical School that by sharp contrast pursued deductive reasoning in search of universal abstract theories. Consequently, Akamatsu must have been blindsided by the German Historical School, missing a chance to read Hume’s writings. References: Hume, David (1754/1985), Essays: Moral, Political and Literary, ed. Eugene Miller, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund. List, Friedrich (1885/1966), The National System of Political Economy, New York: Augustus M. Kelly Publishers.

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