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Will a Growth Miracle Reduce Debt in Japan?

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  • Selahattin Imrohoroglu

    (Professor, Department of Finance and Business Economics, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California (E-mail: simrohor@marshall.usc.edu))

  • Nao Sudo

    (Deputy Director, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan (E-mail: nao.sudou@boj.or.jp))

Abstract

Japan has the highest debt to GDP ratio among the developed nations. In addition, the population is projected to age rapidly over the next few decades, which will significantly increase the ratio of government expenditures to GDP. In this paper, we explore the effect of economic growth driven by total factor productivity on Japanese debt in the face of higher future social security expenditures. Our main finding is that a decade of unprecedentedly fast growth of total factor productivity, at an average of 6% per year, is needed in order for Japan to eliminate its debt. Since this is very unrealistic, what is needed is a significant reduction in government expenditures together with an increase in the consumption tax rate, to eliminate debt in forty years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its series IMES Discussion Paper Series with number 11-E-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:11-e-01

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Keywords: Government Debt; Productivity; Fiscal Policy;

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  1. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Technical Appendices hayashi02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  2. R. Anton Braun & Daisuke Ikeda & Douglas H. Joines, 2009. "The Saving Rate In Japan: Why It Has Fallen And Why It Will Remain Low," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 291-321, 02.
  3. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Working Papers 607, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott (), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  5. Selo Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Nao Sudo, 2011. "Productivity and Fiscal Policy in Japan: Short-Term Forecasts from the Standard Growth Model," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 29, pages 73-106, November.
  7. Chen, Kaiji & Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 2009. "A quantitative assessment of the decline in the U.S. current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1135-1147, November.
  8. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
  9. Timothy Kehoe & Edward Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Technical Appendices kehoe02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  10. Yasuo Hirose & Takushi Kurozumi, 2012. "Do Investment-Specific Technological Changes Matter For Business Fluctuations? Evidence From Japan," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 208-230, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Gary D. Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2013. "Fiscal Reform and Government Debt in Japan: A Neoclassical Perspective," IMES Discussion Paper Series 13-E-10, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  2. Muto, Ichiro & Oda, Takemasa & Sudo, Nao, 2012. "Macroeconomic Impact of Population Aging in Japan: A Perspective from an Overlapping Generations Model," MPRA Paper 42550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Real Arai & Junji Ueda, 2012. "A Numerical Evaluation on a Sustainable Size of Primary Deficit in Japan," KIER Working Papers 823, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Sagiri Kitao & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Tomoaki Yamada, 2013. "Achieving Fiscal Balance in Japan," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 441, Hunter College Department of Economics.

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