JSPS awards for eminent scientists

Report on the JSPS Award for Eminent Scientists FY2010

  1. Host Researcher

    Name: Tetsuo Wada
    Professor, Gakushuin University

  2. Invited eminent scientist (name, title and affiliation, nationality)

    Oliver E. Williamson
    Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics, and Law University of California, Berkeley
    United States of America

  3. Duration of the stay

    From October 14 to October 23, 2010 (10 days)

  4. 4. Schedule during the stay (date, research activities, name of the places to visit, and description of the visits )

    Year/Month/Day Visiting place/Contents
    October 14 Arrive at Haneda Airport from Seoul, South Korea
    October 15 Discussion of Regional Planning Economics with Prof. Tatsuhiko Kawashima (Gakushuin)
    October 16 Symposium in honor of Oliver E. Williamson: Defining the Agenda for the Next Decade of Research on Economic Governance

    Discussion of economics of contracts and organizations with Prof. Masahiko Aoki (Stanford), Hideshi Itoh (Hitotsubashi), Shinsuke Kambe (Gakushuin)
    October 17 Train to Kobe.  Speech at Kobe University:  “Be disciplined. Be interdisciplinary. Have an active mind.”  Followed by reception.
    October 18 Train to Ise. Discussion of the Singapore model of economic development with Prof. Akira Saito (Kobe) and Mr. Jeff Leon (Kobe)
    October 19 Research consultation with Prof. Akira Saito (Kobe)
    October 20 Train to Hakone
    October 21 Research consultation with Prof. Dimitry Rtischev (Gakushuin)
    October 22

    Train to Tokyo.  Distinguished Speaker Seminar at the Asian Development Bank Institute:  "Public and Private Bureaucracies: The Transaction Cost Economics Perspective."  Followed by reception.

    October 23 Depart from Narita Airport to San Francisco.

  5. Description of and results from the invitation

    During his stay in Japan, Professor Williamson spoke at length at two universities and one international research organization.  He also engaged in multifaceted discussions with academics in a variety of fields.

    (1) Symposium at Gakushuin University: “Defining the Agenda for the Next Decade of Research on Economic Governance"

    The symposium engaged Professor Williamson in presentations and discussions in a way that leveraged his many contributions and deep understanding to help prioritize research directions for this decade and beyond. In the spirit of Professor Williamson’s approach, the symposium encouraged interdisciplinary dialogue and sought to identify relevant, concrete, and tractable research problems and methods that promise to further our understanding of behavior under bounded rationality and incomplete information, transaction costs, contracts, governance mechanisms, organizations, law and economics, institutions including formal and informal law, public policy toward business.
      The symposium featured three distinguished speakers. In the first presentation, Professor Hideshi Itoh (Hitotsubashi) argued for broadening the view of the function of a contract beyond the mere supply of court-enforceable rules of engagement between the parties. In the second presentation, Professor Masahiko Aoki (Stanford) presented a rich analytical framework for understanding the relationship between corporate organizational architecture and the distribution of cognitive assets between management and workers. In the final presentation, Professor Williamson urged more coupling between theory and empirical work and emphasized bureaucracy and entrepreneurship as the two most pressing and promising directions of future governance research.
      The symposium was attended by approximately 170 participants, mostly from universities and government and private research organizations, including many graduate students.

    (2) Address at Kobe University: “Be disciplined. Be interdisciplinary. Have an active mind”

    Over 350 undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty gathered at the historic Idemitsu Sazo Memorial Rokkodai Auditorium to hear Prof. Williamson recount his early career and steps to success.  Cooperation between the Faculties of Law and Economics at Kobe University has been a special feature of Kobe University for many years, and Prof. Williamson’s address helped inspire more students to pursue studies and research in Law and Economics.  Prof. Akira Saito (Graduate School of Law) and Prof. Takashi Yanagawa (Graduate School of Economics) organized this event.

    (3) Distinguished Speaker Seminar at the Asian Development Bank Institute:  “Public and Private Bureaucracies: The Transaction Cost Economics Perspective"

    This seminar at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) brought together an audience of about 80 government and private-sector participants, many of whom are working on policy issues of developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. One of such issues is to need to create the institutions of intellectual property to encourage technology-based economic growth, an area where Prof. Williamson’s transaction costs framework is highly applicable. By presenting his framework and emphasizing the rich variety of non-market alternatives, Prof. Williamson challenged policy analysts to a broader conception of the problems and possible solutions.

  6. Contributions to the Host Institute

    As the hosting institution, Gakushuin University benefitted by engaging its faculty and graduate students in the symposium with Prof. Williamson. Faculty and graduate students from Economics, Management, Law, Political Science, and other departments attended and/or helped with organizing the symposium. This stimulated new channels of communication across neighboring fields within the university as well as with researchers from other universities, and contributed to the ongoing effort to globalize the university’s outreach.