Factoryless Goods Producers in Japan

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (Vice Chairman & Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2016 16-E-065
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In parallel with the deepening of the global value chain, manufacturing firms in advanced countries are servitizing, and, in this respect, factoryless goods producers (FGPs) are attracting attention in international economics. On the other hand, in Japan, policymakers are interested in maintaining domestic manufacturing facilities to keep the ability to develop new products. This study presents descriptive statistics on Japanese FGPs, using micro data from the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities. Although the large majority of Japanese FGPs are classified in information and communications or wholesale industries, some FGPs belong to retail or services industries. This study indicates that FGPs are larger and have higher productivity and wages compared with non-FGPs, are investing intensively in intangible assets, including research and development, and have large headquarters functions. Under the trend of task-based international specialization, the growth of FGPs is expected to contribute to the overall earning potential of the Japanese economy.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (16-J-006) with some additional information and changes.

Published: Morikawa, Masayuki, 2016. "Factoryless goods producers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Vol. 40, pp. 9-15