Nations are currently facing two big movements: globalization of the market and need for increasing competitiveness. Liberalization and deregulation in international trade, finance and investment have drastically reduced global transaction costs and advanced the integration of global markets. But they have simultaneously restricted a range of domestic economic policy options. Despite so, national competitiveness has to be continuously cultivated, so that a nation can fully make use of comparative advantages in the global market. Then, strongly embedded in socio‐economic conditions, national competitiveness requires highly efficient and effective systems of production that match both domestic socio‐economic and global market conditions. Globalization of the market and developing national competitiveness are basically contradictory: globalization compels the development of mechanisms to generate allocative‐efficiency, while national competitiveness requires the development of systems that strengthen national capability and optimize X‐efficiency embedded in socio‐economic conditions. Coping with the two contradictory trends requires the open and flexible adaptation of existing systems to global market conditions, resulting in path dependent globalization. Recent financial deregulation in Japan is a good example, that shows a painful process of path dependent globalization, maintaining national competitiveness while openly and flexibly transferring socio‐economic conditions to suit to new global conditions.
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