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Friday, May 13, 2005

Japan's High Wage Manufacturing

While I have doubts about the thesis of Eamon Fingleton's piece in the American Prospect, I found the following interesting:
One important fact ignored by the American media is that Japanese industrial wages are now among the world’s highest. Not only are they far higher than in China (between four and 15 times higher, depending on the region of China), they are actually 20 percent to 30 percent higher than in the United States. Yet Japan’s export industries have not only survived but thrived.

The largely untold story of Japan’s extraordinary manufacturing successes in recent years should inspire a radical reappraisal of fundamental American economic assumptions. Certainly Japan’s trade performance stands as a stunning rebuke to those who hold that high-wage nations can no longer compete in manufacturing.

(the full article is available by subscription only)