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Meiji Japan as a Model for Africa's Economic Development

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image of African and Asian Studies
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This paper examines the major ways in which the economic development model of Meiji Japan, 1868-1912, applies to contemporary Africa. The focus is on capital formation and technology policies that contributed to Meiji Japan's rapid industrial capitalist growth: self-directed strategies, technological borrowing, taking advantage of shifts in comparative advantage from the product cycle, educational policy, business assistance, financial institutions, transfer of agricultural savings to industry, low wages policy, industrial dualistic complementarity, and foreign-exchange rate policies conducive to export expansion. For each of these policies, the author analyzes the extent to which African countries can emulate Meiji Japan's approaches or whether changing circumstances require modification of the Japanese model.


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