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Modern mainstream economics is attracting an increasing number of critics of its high degree of abstraction and lack of relevance to economic reality. Economists are calling for a better reflection of the reality of imperfect information, the role of banks and credit markets, the mechanisms of economic growth, the role of institutions and the possibility that markets may not clear. While it is one thing to find flaws in current mainstream economics, it is another to offer an alternative paradigm which can explain as much as the old, but can also account for the many 'anomalies'. That is what this book attempts. Since one of the biggest empirical challenges to the 'old' paradigm has been raised by the second largest economy in the world - Japan - this book puts the proposed 'new paradigm' to the severe test of the Japanese macroeconomic reality. In the process, the many 'puzzles' surrounding Japan's economy are explained. However, the new paradigm is found applicable far beyond Japan and provides a consistent explanation of events in many industrialised economies and emerging markets.
It also overturns the 'Washington consensus' package of economic development policies and presents a starkly different vision of modern economic policy and its potential to improve our lives.
RICHARD A. WERNER is Reader of International Banking at the University of Southampton. He has spent over a decade in Japan, including as Assistant Professor at Sophia University, Tokyo, Chief Economist at Jardine Fleming Securities (Asia) Ltd. and consultant or advisor at numerous research institutes and financial institutions.