Development Economics, Labor Economics, Public Economics, International Economics
Research Introduction and Message
Striving to become international professionals with a capacity to analyze information, mobilize for action, and argue persuasively
I always have a difficulty in answering when I'm asked what my field of research is. There's no doubt that development economics is an important research field for me, but I might do better to identify my field as all manner of problems related to economic development. Economic development is important not only for developing nations, but also for developed nations and emerging nations. Further, the field includes a broad range of topics. My own background is a grab bag of experiences, including a stint with the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (during which time I contracted malaria twice), time spent studying abroad at a graduate school in the U.S., and work in a position with an international institution. But at root, I'm always mindful of the need to explore how economics can be used to analyze important issues, without limiting my investigations to any one country or field.
When involved in actual policy work out in the field, there are many situations requiring an ability to mobilize oneself for action or negotiate successfully. For example, while negotiating a loan program with a partner nation while I was working at an international institution, the country's government informed us of their desire to raise the value added tax rate early in the afternoon on the day before the final day of the process. I had to gauge the impact of the policy change to the best of my ability and get back to the negotiations later that afternoon, because we needed to reach a working-level agreement prior to the final consultation with the president the following day. I was also questioned by the undersecretary in charge of economy and industry during face-to-face negotiations on the reconstruction of key industries. In my view, the ability to successfully navigate tense situations such as these derives from (1) the ability to analyze information, (2) the ability to mobilize for action, (3) the ability to argue persuasively, (4) the ability to build relationships based on mutual trust, and (5) nerve. Even if your dream for the future is to become a researcher, these five characteristics are important anyway. Additionally, it's extremely important for a researcher to understand-and to be honest about-the limits of academic understanding. It is also important to know how far we can go with policy implications and recommendations based on the current status of academic researches.
To my embarrassment, I am far from ideal. I look forward to striving with students to improve ourselves through friendly competition.
YAMADA Hiroyuki's Personal Website