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The Growth IdeaPurpose and Prosperity in Postwar Japan$
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Scott O'Bryan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832827

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832827.001.0001

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Knowing Growth

Knowing Growth

(p.119) Chapter 4 Knowing Growth
The Growth Idea

Scott O’Bryan

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the rise of growth theory within the academy and economic agencies of Japan in the 1950s and how its analytical power prompted historians and economists to reevaluate both Japan’s national past and its national future in terms of that theory’s conceptions. It first considers the emergence of Gross National Product (GNP) as the premier benchmark of economic growth and national progress before turning to a discussion of the economic statecraft of planning as a matter of technocratic manipulation. It explains how Japanese technocrats adopted the growthist view of planning as they believed it was practiced in the United States to argue for the importance of central economic blueprints for growth in Japan.

Keywords:   growth theory, Japan, Gross National Product, economic growth, national progress, planning, technocrats, growth

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