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The Successful Imitation of the Japanese Lean Production System by American Firms: Impact on American Economic Growth

  • Economics
  • Philosophy


This paper provides some quantitative evidence about the strong links between the Lean Production System (LPS) or equivalently the holistic Just-in-Time/Quality Control (JIT/QC) system and sectoral (micro) economic growth. This evidence is supported by qualitative arguments that present the LPS or the JIT/QC philosophy as a major and fundamental organizational feature of modern economies. Though the implementation of such a system originated in Japan, the USA have been in the process of catching up in the last fifteen years. Subsequently, recently published American sectoral data (for the period between 1958 and 1996) are used to provide ample quantitative evidence of the role the JIT/QC organizational philosophy played in shaping and leading the American macro and sectoral economies in the last 40 years. The implications for the theory of economic growth and economic policy are also briefly stated.

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