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Beyond the border: Japan's economy still looks recessionary

  • Political Science


Southwest Economy, Issue 4, July/August 2001 - Dallas Fed INSIDE: Japan’s Economy Still Looks Recessionary Issue 4 July/August 2001 In an ideal market economy, perfect competi- tion delivers peak performance. For perfect com- petition to exist, not only are many buyers and sellers needed for each particular good, but per- fect information about products (for example, availability, quality and specifications), demand, prices and delivery schedules is also required. As business-to-business (B2B) commerce shifts to the Internet and secure business intranets, better infor- mation will move markets closer to the textbook model of perfect competition. By improving the flow, accuracy and timeli- ness of information, secure Internet-enabled sys- tems provide greater transparency and efficiency at all points along the supply chain. Simply put, the Internet is a continuation of technological im- provements that deliver information faster and cheaper, reduce search and transaction costs in online markets and improve the management of transporting and inventorying products. These savings come from both cheaper information (through lower agency and intermediary costs) and cheaper inputs (through increased supplier competition). The U.S. Census Bureau recently completed the 2000 census. The effort was gargantuan, involving more than 3 million workers, over 20 million maps and almost 100 million questionnaires.1 The results show dramatic population movements within the United States and equally dramatic international migra- tion into the country. In terms of national and international affairs, the decennial count has three main effects. First, the federal government distributes about $200 billion each year according to state population, so an accurate census ensures that fast-growing states will have the financial resources to meet burgeoning de- mand for government services.2 Second, the census is used to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives, giving increased political clout

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