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The Deteriorating Fiscal Situation and an Aging Population

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  • Robert Dekle

Abstract

Japan's deteriorating fiscal situation has attracted international attention. I assess what current Japanese government policies mean for the future of public debt and the economy in general, given the inevitable aging of the population. I review how Japan got into this current fiscal mess, and then perform an analysis of some debt dynamics. With unchanged fiscal policies, Japan's public debt will rise to between 260% and 380% of GDP in 2030, and to between 700% and 1300% in 2040 -- clearly unsustainable levels. For the debt to be sustainable, significant increases in taxes, or cuts in government spending are necessary.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9367.

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Date of creation: Dec 2002
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Publication status: published as Blomstrom, Magnus et al. (eds.) Structural impediments to growth in Japan NBER Conference Report series. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9367

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  1. Ishi, Hiromitsu, 2000. "Making Fiscal Policy in Japan: Economic Effects and Institutional Settings," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199240715, October.
  2. Mitsuhiro Fukao, 2002. "Financial Sector Profitability and Double-Gearing," NBER Working Papers 9368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Takero Doi & Takeo Hoshi, 2003. "Paying for the FILP," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 37-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  6. Ono, Hiroshi & Rebick, Marcus, 2002. "Impediments to the Productive Employment of Labor in Japan," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 500, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Hiroko Ishii & Erika Wada, 1998. "Local Government Spending: Solving the Mystery of Japanese Fiscal Packages," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP98-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Auerbach, Alan J & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2004. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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