The Forgotten Link: The Financial Regulation of Japanese Pensions Funds in Comparative Perspective


In Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Philip Manow eds., Comparing Welfare Capitalism: Social Policy and Political Economy in Europe, Japan and the USA (London/New York: Routledge, 2001)

To the extent that the literature on the varieties of capitalism has taken notice of welfare state arrangements, it has done so by focusing upon the impact of such arrangements on employment relations (Esping–Andersen 1990; Estevez–Abe et al. 1999; Manow 1997a,b; Mares 1997; Huber and Stephens 1997; Wood 1997). In the literature, however, employment relations constitute just one of the features that define a specific model of capitalism (Aoki and Dore 1994; Berger and Dore 1996; Crouch and Streeck 1997; Hall 1986; Hal and Soskice, forthcoming; Boyer 1989; Hollingsworth and Boyer 1997; Kitschelt et al. 1999). The nature of financial markets and the relations between firms and suppliers of capital are every bit as important. The ability of corporations to form long–term commitments, such as lifetime employment, depends on the availability of patient, far–sighted capital. The longer the time horizon of capital suppliers, the greater the autonomy of corporate managers. The time horizon of capital is, in short, one of the most significant determinants of variation between different types of capitalism.