Education About Asia: Online Archives

Japan Why It Works, Why It Doesn’t: Economics in Everyday Life

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Japan: Why It Works, Why It Doesn’t evolved out of a 1995 visit to Japan by American economics professors James Mak and Shyam Sunder. Arriving in Japan with little understanding of the society, Mak and Sunder began asking questions of their Kobe University hosts (including their co-editors, Shigeyuki Abe and Kazuhiro Igawa) about what they saw around them. Many of these questions became the titles of the various essays that make up the book. By focusing on everyday life, the book explains some interesting aspects of the internal dynamics of Japan’s economy.