Global Economy

Objective of our research on “global economy”

Recent advances in information and communication technology (ICT) such as the fifth-generation networks (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI), etc., referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, have accelerated globalization of the world economies and drastically changed the flows of “people, goods, money and information.” Advanced ICT has made possible the aggregation, refinement, and optimization of supply-chain information beyond national boundaries. As a result, we now see the emergence of companies with high economic rationality that dominate the global market.
On one hand, globalization shifted markets from local to global scales and increased wealth to an extraordinary scale; on the other hand, it has brought about uneven distribution of wealth, widening disparities, literacy and educational gaps. And the disclosure of individual purchase information has gone so far as, not only to enclose the customer, but to monitor the individuals themselves, extending the debate on human rights issues.

As such, in a world where social disruption deepens while economy expands through innovation, the research studies on “global economy” deals with not only a nation’s macroeconomic policy, but also an expanding range of research targets from global economy to the state of human activities.

Research areas

Economic theory, economic policy, trade policy, regional economy (China, etc.), AI and big data, agricultural policy and genome, medical economics, economic history, etc.

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Research Themes

Project Leader Research Director Tsutomu WATANABE
Project Member(s) Senior Research Fellow Takayuki MIZUNO ・ Senior Research Fellow Takaaki OHNISHI ・ Research Fellow Ryohei HISANO ・ Senior Research Fellow Hiroshi IYETOMI ・ Research Fellow Kota WATANABE
Collaborator(s) Atushi ISHIKAWA(Kanazawa Gakuin University), Shouji FUJIMOTO (Kanazawa Gakuin University), Didier Sornette (ETH Zurich), Yuichi Ikeda(Kyoto University), Takashi Iino(Niigata University), Yuichi KICHIKAWA Yuichi
Research Objective
We will collect large-scale business data and elucidate the mechanisms behind the economic behavior of businesses, financial institutions, households, government, etc. Specifically, the subjects of our analysis include economic networks (business-to-business and trade), demographics and asset value fluctuations.
Project Leader Research Director Tsutomu WATANABE
Project Member(s) Senior Research Fellow Takayuki MIZUNO ・ Senior Research Fellow Takaaki OHNISHI ・ Research Fellow Ryohei HISANO ・ Senior Research Fellow Hiroshi IYETOMI ・ Research Fellow Kota WATANABE ・ Senior Research Fellow Kozo UEDA
Collaborator(s) Jess DIAMOND (Hosei University), Tomoyoshi YABU (Keio University), Toshiaki SHOJI(Seikei University), David Weinstein (Columbia Univ), Jessie Handbury (Univ of Pennsylvania), Taehun Jung (Kyungpook National University)
Research Objective
We will elucidate the mechanisms by which product prices (prices of consumables, durable appliances, etc.) and real estate prices (condominium sales prices, rents, etc.) fluctuate. In particular, we aim to elucidate the mechanisms of inflation, deflation and real estate bubbles through an integrated understanding of the characteristics of fluctuations in individual prices and their aggregates (consumer price indices, real estate price indices, etc.).
Project Leader Research Director Kiyoyuki SEGUCHI
Research Objective
The Chinese economy is in the final stage of its rapid growth age, showing a decline in the growth rate. China's most important task is how it will carry out structural reforms while securing the stability of its macroeconomy. The accelerated improvement of the China-Japan relationship has been backing up Japanese companies to expand its investment in China. Based on the abovementioned present situations, we will provide an easy-to-understand overview of the Chinese economy as a whole, paying attention to the interactions of the real factors.
Project Leader Research Director Kazuhito YAMASHITA
Research Objective
Forestry policy has put an emphasis on either advancement of industry or multifunctionality. We will examine whether any policy intervention is necessary in order to protect and advance the forestry industry from the standpoint of the national economy. At first we clarify reasons why the industry cannot be efficient by solely relying on private economies or without governmental interventions. We will examine ideal approaches for sustainable forestry industry, as well as appropriate forestry policies. In this context, we also will examine how the Japanese forestry industry is different from those in foreign countries, and what measures for the sustainable forestry have been taken by foreign countries.
Project Leader Research Director Kazuhito YAMASHITA
Research Objective
The Abe administration has degraded agricultural policy system and increased agricultural protection. It is shown by substantial reinforcement of rice acreage reduction policy for the sake of pegging high price of rice or excessive compensatory measures against trade liberalization. In addition, people in Japan have been preoccupied with false ideas such as the necessity of increasing food self-sufficiency ratio. We will continue to make proposals on the necessity and direction of agricultural policy reform. At the same time, in order to use IT and AI for agriculture, the following policy engagements will be necessary: ・Formation of an agricultural IT cooperative; and ・Possible use of blockchain for traceability.
Project Leader Research Director Kazuhito YAMASHITA
Research Objective
The Trump administration has confused the world by adopting a series of protectionist measures. President Trump will never change his protectionist policy unless he can change the minds of the people who supported him. For that purpose, it is necessary to present the degree of burden President Trump’s protectionist policies will impose on specific industries and workers, as well as the U.S. economy, rather than merely advocating abstract interests of free trade.
Project Leader Research Director Yukihiro MATSUYAMA
Research Objective
Projects such as AI hospitals and utilization of big data that the Japanese government announced would be achieved in 2020 are behind schedule in comparison with those of other countries, just because neither priority, nor who will bear investment costs has been clarified. We will assess these projects in Japan and examine what breakthrough measures should be taken, by investigating the latest circumstances of similar projects in other countries.
Project Leader Research Director Jun KURIHARA
Collaborator(s) Yukio HONDA (Osaka Institute Technology),Minoru KAMATA (Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Research Objective
We will promote open innovation that aims for the birth of "Compassionate Assistive Robotics."
Project Leader Research Director Jun KURIHARA
Collaborator(s) Toshimichi NAGAIWA (Lt. General, JASDF, Retired), Tatsuya NISHIDA (Associate Professor, Hiroshima City University), Anthony Saich (Professor, Harvard University)
Research Objective
We will analyze and examine Chinese security issues from the perspectives of the United States, Europe and Asia.
Project Leader Research Director Kumiko OKAZAKI
Research Objective
We will analyze the current situation of international capital flows in China, and deepen discussions about the pace of capital transaction deregulation. Moreover, we will organize information on China's recent outward investment and financial assistance, and deepen our consideration about the ideal approach for international financial cooperation.
Project Leader Research Director Kumiko OKAZAKI
Research Objective
We will continue our studies on the soundness and sustainability of China's fiscal policy. In particular, we will put emphasis on grasping the current situation of local government debts and researching the design of nationwide social security system.
Project Leader Research Director Kumiko OKAZAKI
Research Objective
China has been continuously working on the reform of its bank dominant financial sector, including liberalization of interest rates and opening of the financial market, while facing medium and long-term critical challenges toward reduction of excessive debts. Recognizing these difficult tasks, we will analyze the current situation of the Chinese financial sector and consider priority tasks with mainly focusing on its improvement of efficiency and risk management capabilities.
Project Leader Research Director Keiichiro KOBAYASHI
Research Objective
We will study an ideal approach for new equity governance (governance by shareholders) to increase productivity and drive economic growth in Japan, and how the capital market should be reformed for that purpose. We will analyze the current situation where assets of elderly people with weakened cognitive functions are not effectively used, and examine the ideal approach for fair and efficient management of risk money. These include the possibilities of utilizing FinTech and AI.
Project Leader Research Director Keiichiro KOBAYASHI
Project Member(s) Senior Research Fellow Kazumasa OGURO
Collaborator(s) Motohiro SATO (Professor, Hitotsubashi University), Yohei KOBAYASHI (Senior Analyst, Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting Co.,Ltd.)
Research Objective
Comprehensive analysis from various viewpoints, including perspectives on political philosophy, will be performed on policy measures taken in the event of a fiscal crisis, as well as on countermeasures for extra long-term policy issues across generations (fiscal sustainability, social security sustainability, global warming, etc.). We will consider the progress of artificial intelligence through deep learning and its involvement with the market and society, from the standpoint of inter-generational issues.
Project Leader Research Director Keiichiro KOBAYASHI
Project Member(s) Senior Research Fellow Tomoyuki NAKAJIMA ・ Senior Research Fellow Ryoji HIRAGUCHI ・ Senior Research Fellow Kozo UEDA ・ Research Fellow Daichi SHIRAI ・ Senior Research Fellow Masaru INABA ・ Senior Research Fellow Kengo NUTAHARA ・ Research Fellow Shuhei TAKAHASHI ・ Research Fellow Tomohiro HIRANO
Research Objective
We will analyze, mainly using theoretical modeling and computer simulations, each of the following subjects: deflationary balance, credit bubbles, non-performing loans, monetary theories and banking crises, and tail risks in fiscal crises and economic growth. Results of our analysis will be presented at academic conferences and seminars in Japan and abroad, and published in academic journals. We will host an Economic Conference twice a year by inviting Japanese and foreign cutting-edge researchers.
Project Leader Research Director Daisuke KOTEGAWA
Research Objective
We will expand personal networks with the Asian Development Bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and ministries of finance and central banks, and their affiliated research institutes, as well as universities in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos etc., by holding symposiums when their leaders visit Japan.
Project Leader Kentaro NAKAJIMA (Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University)
Project Member(s) Research Director Tetsuji OKAZAKI
Research Objective
Innovations are essential to the sustained growth of the Japanese economy. This research is designed to build and analyze long-term micro data on patents, in particular to clarify the mechanisms by which innovation was created, as well as the effects of innovation policies.
Project Leader Research Director Tetsuji OKAZAKI
Collaborator(s) Koji SAKAI (Kyoto Sangyo University), Michiru SAWADA (Nihon University)
Research Objective
We will analyze the impact of banks on the efficiency of inter-regional fund allocation, and the impact of the central bank's supply of liquidity on the financial system and industry, using data from prewar Japan.
Project Leader Research Director Tetsuji OKAZAKI
Collaborator(s) Ken ONISHI (Federal Reserve Board), Naoki WAKAMORI (Tokyo University)
Research Objective
A stable supply of energy, especially electric power, at low cost is a fundamental condition for economic growth in the 20th century and beyond. Japan's electric power industry began its development in the early 20th century, driven by many dispersed companies, and formed a large network through mergers and business-to-business partnerships. This research analyzes the expansion mechanism of this network and its implications, based on micro-data.
Project Leader Research Director Tetsuji OKAZAKI
Collaborator(s) Michiru SAWADA (Nihon University), Tomoko MATSUMOTO (Nagoya University)
Research Objective
We will quantitatively analyze, based on micro-data, under what political and social backgrounds the long-term economic development of Japan since the prewar days was accomplished, and how such economic development has in turn influenced the political and social structures.
Project Leader Research Director Tetsuji OKAZAKI
Collaborator(s) Daisuke MIYAKAWA (Associate Professor, ICS, Hitotsubashi Univ.,Serguey BRAGUINSKY (University of Maryland)
Research Objective
Industrial and corporate organizations dynamically change in the process of economic development. We will study internationalization of Japanese companies using data for each company since the end of the 19th century. We will also demonstrate changes (including internationalization) experienced by the corporate and industrial organizations in the process of economic development and their mechanisms. In addition, such issues as implications of modern institutions and technologies on factory size, and growth of multiple plant companies and their plant management, will be explored.

Research Fellows

(in Alphabetical Order)