History of the Japan Economic Policy Association (JEPA)
The Japan Economic Policy Association (JEPA) was established on May 17, 1940 in Tokyo, by professors and researchers interested in the scientific study of economic policy. Since then, it has given birth to a number of other academic organizations related to the discipline of economics and to the application of theories to economic policy formation.
At present, there are more than twenty academic associations related to economic policy research, most of which were established after World War II. Thus, the Japan Economic Policy Association is one of the few academic Associations for economic policy established before the War in Japan. The Association will celebrate the 70th anniversary in 2013.
Recently, a large number of researchers in public and private research institute laboratories and students at post-graduate schools have become members of the Association. Consequently, the membership has grown remarkably and currently amounts to approximately 1,300.
Under the economic conditions such as depression in the Japanese Economy since the 1990s and globalization of the World Economy, Japan has been suffering from the economic crisis that began in 2008, and the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The Association is coping with a difficult task to provide effective new approaches to analyze various impacts of economic policy on the economy and on society as a whole.
The Association has two missions: (1) the study of economic policies and (2) mutual cooperation with domestic and overseas academic societies. The Association strongly supports young researchers, seeks to reveal and explain academic achievements to the public as far as possible, and welcomes all presentations and articles, from any field of science, that are related to economic policy.
The Association is composed of two levels of organization: national and regional. There are four regional chapters which cover four areas: Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, and Nishinihon. The Association is administered by the board of 25 managing directors elected every three years. Other than regional organizations, there are seven working committees, which are responsible for deciding directions of activities such as publication, international exchange, and the Association Prize.
In order to realize the above mentioned mission, the major activities of the Association are to hold two annual meetings, the Annual Conference on the national level and the International Conference, and regionally organized meetings. The Association publishes two journals: (1) The Journal of Economic Policy Studies (JEPS), since the year 2003, which follows upon fifty volumes of the annual report issued until 2002; (2) The International Journal of Economic Policy Studies (IJEPS), since the year 2006, comprising papers written in English.
The following are also important activities of the Association: (1) Web system for membership started in 2011, which is available for research activities on the web site, such as contribution of papers, comment or discussion, and information exchange among members. (2) The Prize of the Association was created at the 2004 annual conference, and this activity started at the 2005 annual conference. (3) Starting in the year 2001, a home page for JEPA has been launched giving information about its activities and papers.
Recent Annual Conferences
The Association holds annual conferences. In each conference, a common theme is chosen by the program steering committee. This theme is elaborated by the regional chapter responsible for sponsoring the conference in that year. In addition, subsidiary themes are selected along with the main one for the purpose of promoting and deepening the discussion on the main theme.
The several topics which are picked up from recent annual conferences show recent trends of research topics related to economic policy.
– How to deal with the new type of political economy which is characterized by interaction between industrial trends and institutional reform such as deregulation
– To what extent analytical concepts such as game theory are effective
– How to explore the public choices under the new political behaviors of individuals
– What policy the government should take under the pressure of financial crisis, global economic depression, and The Great East Japan Earthquake.
The International Conference debuted in 2002 with a determination to promote the Association’s activities in an international dimension. This academic activity has been held every year.
The conference is open to both members and nonmembers of any nationality. JEPA is especially keen to encourage young economists to participate. The several categories are picked up as subjects for ordinary sessions from recent trends of research topics, related to policies towards global economy such as the following.
– Theory of Economic Policy
– Public Finance and Fiscal Policy
– Monetary and Financial Policy
– Growth, Development and Population Policy
– Industrial Organization and Structural Policy
– Labor Economics and Policy
– Public Economics and Public Choice
– Welfare and Social Security Policy
– Regional, Urban and Transportation Policy
– Resource and Environmental Policy
– Law and Economics
– Comparative System Analysis
The language used at the conference is English. JEPA is delighted to have been supported by many overseas participants from more than 40 countries and regions.
Journal of Economic Policy Studies
Although the Japan Economic Policy Association had published fifty volumes of the Journal of the Association, the Annual of the Japan Economic Policy Association containing annual reports once a year until 2002, it was followed upon by the new official refereed journal of the Association, the Journal of Economic Policy Studies (JEPS), from the year 2003.
The reason why the Association changed the Annual to the Journal is that the Association has adopted as one of its objectives cooperation with equivalent foreign Associations in response to increasing globalization and is broadening international liaisons in various forms. The main purpose of the Journal is, therefore, to develop a close relationship between JEPA and foreign Associations and to encourage the economic policy studies of the members by publishing papers on economic policy.
The scope of the Journal includes all fields of economic policy, and it is issued biannually, one issue comprising papers presented at the annual conference of each year.
International Journal of Economic Policy Studies
The Association has also published the International Journal of Economic Policy Studies (IJEPS) since the year 2006, comprising papers written in English, which is issued in an electronic version annually. Its purpose is broadly defined, with comprehensive coverage of both theoretical and empirical studies within the field of economic policy.
The Japan Economic Policy Association initiated the first international conference in 2002 as a part of its academic activities. Since then, the Association has provided a useful network and public space for research on economic policy in the world.
Papers published in each volume through a refereed process are exclusively selected from the papers submitted and presented at the Japan Economic Policy Association International Conference. Especially, we are encouraging papers which are rich in policy implications based not only on reliable economic models but also on robust econometric analyses.
The Association Prize
The 2004 annual conference of the Japan Economic Policy Association approved creating the Prize of the Association and to award it to the members who have presented the most outstanding papers at the annual conference. The prize is composed of the Academic Prize (gakujutsu-sho) and the Prize for Encouraging Research (kenkyu-shorei-sho).
International and Domestic Cooperation
In order to promote an international as well as domestic linkage with other academic Associations, the Japan Economic Policy Association is encouraging mutual cooperation with the 21st Economic Forum (Japan), Business & Economics Society International (USA) and AUCO Czech Economic Review (Czech Republic) among others. JEPA always welcomes cooperation with other academic societies.