Factoryless Goods Producers in Japan

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (Vice Chairman & Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. February 2016 16-J-006
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In parallel with the deepening of the global value chain (GVC), manufacturing companies in advanced countries are servitizing. In this respect, "factoryless goods producers" (FGPs) are attracting attention in the United States. On the other hand, in Japan, policymakers are interested in maintaining domestic manufacturing facilities to keep the ability to develop new products. This paper overviews the facts about the Japanese FGPs using micro data from the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Although a large number of Japanese FGPs are classified as information and communications or wholesale industries, some FGPs belong to the retail or service industries. The FGPs are larger in size and have higher productivity and wages compared with non-FGPs. The FGPs are investing intensively in intangible assets including research and development (R&D) and have large headquarters functions. Under the trend toward task-based international specialization, the growth of FGPs is expected to contribute to the earnings potential of the overall Japanese economy.

The English version of this paper is 16-E-065.

Forthcoming: Morikawa, Masayuki. "Factoryless goods producers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy.