Language: 日本語 English

Katsuhito Iwai

Katsuhito Iwai

Research Category

Economic Theory, Legal Theory

Area of Interest

Disequilibrium Dynamics, Ontology of Money, Theory of Corporation, Fiduciary Principles, Comparative Capitalistic System, History of Social Thoughts

Recent Thoughts

(1) In recent years I have been working on the ontology of language, law and money. What makes us truly human is neither our material existence obeying physical laws nor our social instincts governed by genetic codes but the language, law and money as “social entities” through whose intermediaries we are able to relate with each other as universal human-beings. (2) The “once a hundred years” global economic crisis has demonstrated conclusively that there is an inevitable trade-off between efficiency and stability in capitalist economy. True that the wider and the deeper the market system covers the economy, the more productive the economy would become at microscopic level. But it is only at the expense of growing instability at macroscopic level, in the forms of bubbles and panics, booms and depressions, or hyperinflations and crises. The ongoing crisis has led me to resume my work on “disequilibrium dynamics” that has advocated such “inconvenient truth” about capitalism. (3) A fiduciary is a person who undertakes to act for the benefit of another person. He/she owes the duty of loyalty to beneficiary, is required to disgorge any unauthorized gain from his/her position, and has the burden of disproving his/her disloyalty in litigation. I now believe that there is a solid foundation upon which a unified theory of fiduciary relationships can be constructed -- it is a fundamental axiom in contract law that “one cannot form a contract with oneself.” (4) I also plan to write an English version of my 2003 book: “What Will Become of the Corporation?”


  • Disequilibrium Dynamics -- A Theoretical Analysis of Inflation and Unemployment, Cowles Foundation Monograph, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).

  • “Persons, Things and Corporations: the Corporate Personality Controversy and Comparative Corporate Governance,” American Journal of Comparative Law 47 (4), Fall 1999, pp. 583-632.

  •  “Evolution of Money”, in U. Pagano and A. Nicita eds., The Evolution of Economic Diversity, (London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 396-431.


Recent/Ongoing Works

  • “The Second End of Laissez-Faire-- Bootstrapping Nature of Money and Inherent Instability of Capitalism,”a paper presented at Interdisciplinary Workshop on Money at Berlin Free University, June 2009; 改訂版CIRJE Discussion Paper, F-646東京大学経済学部, Oct. 2009.
  • “What Will Become of the (Japanese) Corporation? A Comparative Perspective,” 9th John Whitney Hall Lecture delivered at Yale University, Nov. 7, 2007; to be expanded into a book.
  • “A Theory of Fiduciary Relationships – Non-Contractual Foundation of Duty of Loyalty, Disgorgement Damages, and Strict Liability,” in preparation.

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Visiting Professor, International Christian University, and Specially Appointed Professor, Musashino University