America's Role in the Making of Japan's Economic Miracle

39 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013 Last revised: 14 Jul 2018

See all articles by Michael Beckley

Michael Beckley

Tufts University - Department of Political Science

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Jennifer Miller

History Department, Dartmouth College

Date Written: April 27, 2017

Abstract

Japan’s remarkable postwar growth spurt in the 1960s would not have been possible without Japan’s alliance with the United States. Policy makers, political scientists, economists, historians, and journalists on both sides of the Pacific have made this claim, but no study has yet tested it with modern statistical methods. In this article, we compare the economic growth trajectories of Japan and a statistically constructed “synthetic” Japan, which had a similar profile until the late 1950s but did not experience the consolidation of the U.S.–Japan alliance, a process that began in 1958 and culminated with the signing of a formal defense pact in January 1960. We find that Japan’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) grew much faster than the synthetic Japan’s from 1958 to 1968. We substantiate these results with in-depth historical analyses on how the United States facilitated Japan’s economic miracle.

Keywords: economic growth, US-Japan relations, synthetic control, Japan

JEL Classification: C32, C33, F43, N15, O19, O40, O53

Suggested Citation

Beckley, Michael and Horiuchi, Yusaku and Miller, Jennifer, America's Role in the Making of Japan's Economic Miracle (April 27, 2017). Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 1-21, March 2018; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting; A revised version of the paper presented at 2013 APSA in Chicago. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2299948

Michael Beckley (Contact Author)

Tufts University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Jennifer Miller

History Department, Dartmouth College ( email )

212 Carson Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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