The American Economist Martin Bronfenbrenner (1914-1997) and the Reconstruction of the Japanese Economy (1947-1952)

Author: 
Aiko Ikeo
Publication Number: 
2011-11

Martin Bronfenbrenner (1914-1997) was an American economist  who was conversant with 

Japanese counterparts and well informed in Japan’s economics and economy. This paper aims 

to examine how he managed to communicate with Japanese economists when he visited Japan 

(three times) during the period immediately after the conclusion of the Pacific War (1941-1945). 

It also discusses his caustic criticism of the monetary expansion policy started by Japanese 

Finance Minister Tanzan Ishibashi to bolster up the national reconstruction strategy. It also 

sheds light on his other activities in Japan and East Asia as a liaison to the Shoup Tax Reform 

Mission (1949-1950) and a consultant to an UN organization in Bangkok (1951-1952). It will 

conclude that one of Bronfenbrener’s first and most  important missions in post-WWII Japan 

was to meet several Japanese modern economists and try to communicate with them on 

economic issues based on a common knowledge of economics. By sharing his experience in 

Japan, many economists received new insight of economic knowledge and actual policy 

implementation by conducting their missions for the recovery and reconstruction of a national 

economy