The ‘Flying Geese’ Paradigm of Catch-up Growth
New Horizons in International Business series
Chapter 5: Knowledge-Driven Stage – and Logic – of Catch-up Growth
5.1. ‘CREATED’ RESOURCES As early as the 1960s, the Japanese government launched major efforts to scale the ladder of industrial upgrading toward the next rung of knowledgedriven growth (the ‘Schumpeterian’ phase). It seeded new growth industries through a variety of measures, such as stepped-up efforts to acquire cuttingedge technology from overseas under license, setting up cooperative research programs between government and industry, and cajoling those foreign multinationals (for example, IBM) then already operating in Japan to disseminate new technology to local firms. Government–industry research collaboration in particular was instrumental in enabling Japan to emerge as a dominant producer of high-quality semiconductors (microchips) before long. Semiconductors were considered so vital that they came to be regarded as ‘sangyo no kome’ (the rice/staple of industry) in Japan. No effort was, therefore, spared to develop through industrial policy semiconductor electronics, simultaneously with the domestic computer industry that needed the semiconductors. Both of these would become the key foundations for knowledge-driven, high-tech industries. (In fact, Japan’s semiconductor industry would celebrate its coming of age in the early 1980s with its dominance in the field of LSI semiconductors surpassing the United States.) In the meantime, consumer electronics, which was developed by Japanese entrepreneurs practically without any help from the government, spearheaded the growth of Japan’s electronics production and exports. Early on, transistor radios and television sets were the major initiators of this industry in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. They served as catapults for a host of related electronics goods. Japan’s consumer...
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