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Li, "Government and technology development experience of Japan and China in the electronics sector," 1992

USC Dissertation in Public Administration.
August 26, 2009

Chenxia Li, Ph.D.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation addresses one of the key issues in the recent policy discussion--government role in the nation's high-tech development. The notion of government involvement in promoting the "selected" industries is not a new one; but the attention focused on the high technology industrial policy in recent years has led to the development of a new perspective. While the economic war is heating up, the increased government actions to assist the high technology are driven by the perceived leverage of high technology to the nation's position in the global economy.

This research has tried to evaluate the role of industrial policy in the high-tech development, pursued by the in-depth analysis of the government promotional efforts toward the electronics technology in Japan and China. The framework of study is designed to probe the important factors beneath the interplay of government policies and market forces. The case study examines the course of electronics development, analyzes the nature of government involvement in electronics, and evaluates the institutional structures that shape the outcomes of government involvement.

The findings of this research suggest the institutional structures as a key factor to affect the nation's ability to exercise industrial policy. Japan's rise as an economic power has confirmed a powerful role that government can play in improving efficiency of resource allocation and leading techno-industrial development. The government-business partnership has led to the high degree of coherence in government programs and industry actions in the course of industrial development. The Japanese government has acted as co-player of the market and the government policies have enhanced the market forces.

China wishes to catch up with the front-runners in the global high-tech race. The economic reforms and the open door policy have profound impacts on the electronics development strategy. The changes since 1979 have created new incentives to rapid technological advance; but this research finds some significant imbalances in China's electronics development strategy. The recent efforts to re-design the economic institutions could pave the way for the better performance of industrial catching-up in electronics. (Copies available exclusively from Micrographics Department, Doheny Library, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0182.)

Advisor: Banerjee, Tridib