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History of CEI

image_01.jpgThe Center for Economic Institutions (CEI) is affiliated with the Institute for Economic Research at Hitotsubashi University. CEI was founded in April, 2000, with the objectives of conducting systematic and basic research on economic institutions that focuses on Asian countries, including Japan, and becoming the center of an international research network for this purpose. Financial systems and corporate governance in Japan and Asia were selected as the initial research topic. Accordingly, CEI promoted research that straddled the fields of finance theory, new institutional economics, and development economics, obtaining satisfactory research results and completing the first stage in fiscal year 2005/2006.

CEI has begun a new research direction and added two topics in April 2006: Comparison of Enterprise Performance in East Asia, and Research into Family-Owned Enterprises. In April 2008, another topic was added: Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of Firms and Industries. Along with establishing, maintaining, and measuring the productivity of databases on corporate governance and enterprise systems in Japan and Asia, CEI has built up a strong research network. In April 2010, which marked the end of the first ten years of CEI’s research activities, a new priority research topic—Role of Institutions in Economic Development in Low-Income Developing Countries in Asia and Africa—was added as a new pillar in addition to the existing research topics. This research topic was also strongly linked to a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) project titled Poverty Reduction, Institutions, Markets, and Policies in Developing Countries: Toward a Theory of Comparative Economic Development (PRIMCED) conducted between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2014.
Moving forward to April 2016, we have decided to establish the following principal research topic: Comparative Institutional Analysis of Economic Systems in Emerging Countries. The development process in emerging countries suggests the return of an era in which population size will have a major impact on the size of an economy. This is based on the perception that it is necessary to grasp more accurately the market structure in the economies being studied and the systems and organizations that support it in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of emerging countries such as Russia, China, and India, where development in the form of a direct link between the sizes of the population and the economy has been the focus of attention in recent years. Similarly, such understanding is needed in emerging countries in South Asia and Africa.
At the same time, we at CEI consider continuity in research to be important and we are working on research into financial and corporate systems in Japan and Asia. Our aim is to carry out basic research on economic institutions and long-term economic development in a way that combines both of these areas.