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The role of families, communities, and governments in Improving socioeconomic performance : The Japanese experience (Inglês)

By tracing Japan's history, the paper argues that families and communities have played important roles in the country's successful socioeconomic performance. The argument is first made by comparing Japan's socioeconomic data with those of other OECD countries. Then, the paper presents some case studies to gain a better understanding of the roles played by Japanese families and communities. This does not imply, however, that government had a small role. On the contrary, the Japanese government succeeded in attaining high socioeconomic levels at relatively low cost by supporting and utilizing families & communities. This may be termed a Japanese-style welfare policy. Finally, the paper argues that along with economic growth in Japan, family and community ties have weakened to a point at which the government must assume larger roles to maintain socioeconomic performance. This paper was prepared for a project on Local Government Development in Japan. The principal objectives of this Program are to conduct studies on Japanese and East Asian development management experience and to disseminate the lessons of this experience to developing and transition economies.

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