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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. R. Anton Braun & Daisuke Ikeda & Douglas H. Joines, 2007. "The Saving Rate in Japan: Why It Has Fallen and Why It Will Remain Low," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-535, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Timothy Kehoe & Edward Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Technical Appendices kehoe02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  3. 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.
  4. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Nao Sudo, 2010. "Productivity and Fiscal Policy in Japan: Short Term Forecasts from the Standard Growth Model," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-23, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  5. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
  6. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott (), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  7. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Working Papers 607, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selo Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," Macroeconomics 0502017, EconWPA.
  9. Hirose, Yasuo & Kurozumi, Takushi, 2011. "Do investment-specific technological changes matter for business fluctuations? Evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 32944, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Technical Appendices hayashi02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Gary Hansen, 2013. "Fiscal Reform and Government Debt in Japan: A Neoclassical Perspective," 2013 Meeting Papers 697, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Tomoaki Yamada & Sagiri Kitao & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2013. "Achieving Fiscal Balance in Japan," 2013 Meeting Papers 736, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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