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The Japanese Depression in the Interwar Period: A General Equilibrium Analysis

  • Saijo Hikaru

    ()

    (University of Pennsylvania and University of Tokyo)

Registered author(s):

    This paper studies the Japanese depression in the interwar period using the business cycle accounting methodology and a general equilibrium model with time-varying markups. I find that the initial slowdown of the economy can be explained by a decline in productivity. However, I also find that when only productivity change is taken into account, a prototype neoclassical growth model predicts that in the 1930s, output recovers more rapidly than is actually supported by the data. Using restrictions from theory, I quantify the contribution of an increase in markups in the manufacturing and mining sectors and find that a substantial fraction of the weak recovery can be explained by this factor. I argue that this increase in markups is caused by government-promoted cartelization.

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    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejm.2008.8.1/bejm.2008.8.1.1614/bejm.2008.8.1.1614.xml?format=INT
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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 1-26

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:25
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    1. Jonas D.M. Fisher & Andreas Hornstein, 2002. "The Role of Real Wages, Productivity, and Fiscal Policy in Germany's Great Depression 1928-37," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 100127-1001, January.
    2. Keiichiro Kobayashi & Masaru Inaba, 2005. "Business Cycle Accounting for the Japanese Economy," Discussion papers 05023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Why Did Productivity Fall So Much during the Great Depression?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 34-38, May.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2004. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Working Paper 0318, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    5. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
    6. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2002. "The French Depression in the 1930s," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 7399-7399, January.
    7. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy," NBER Working Papers 12081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
    9. Felipe Meza, 2008. "Financial Crisis, Fiscal Policy, and the 1995 GDP Contraction in Mexico," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(6), pages 1239-1261, 09.
    10. Erasmus Kersting, 2008. "The 1980s Recession in the UK: A Business Cycle Accounting Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 179191-1791, January.
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