IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Will a Growth Miracle Reduce Debt in Japan?


  • Imrohoroglu, Selahattin
  • Sudo, Nao


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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Sudo, Nao, 2011. "Will a Growth Miracle Reduce Debt in Japan?," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 62(1), pages 44-56, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:ecorev:v:62:y:2011:i:1:p:44-56

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
    2. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters,in: The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. 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, February.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, May.
    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. Selo Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
    9. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott(), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dreger, 2017. "Long-term growth perspectives in Japan and the Euro area," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 363-375, December.
    2. Selahattin ─░mrohoro─člu & Sagiri Kitao & Tomoaki Yamada, 2016. "Achieving Fiscal Balance In Japan," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 117-154, February.
    3. Gary Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2016. "Fiscal Reform and Government Debt in Japan: A Neoclassical Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 201-224, July.
    4. repec:eee:jjieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:17-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Nakajima, Tomoyuki & Takahashi, Shuhei, 2017. "The optimum quantity of debt for Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 17-26.
    7. Takeo Hoshi & Takatoshi Ito, 2012. "Defying Gravity: How Long Will Japanese Government Bond Prices Remain High?," NBER Working Papers 18287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Naoyuki Yoshino & Uwe Vollmer, 2014. "The sovereign debt crisis: why Greece, but not Japan?," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 325-344, September.
    9. Ko, Jun-Hyung & Morita, Hiroshi, 2015. "Fiscal sustainability and regime shifts in Japan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 364-375.
    10. Ichiro Muto & Takemasa Oda & Nao Sudo, 2016. "Macroeconomic Impact of Population Aging in Japan: A Perspective from an Overlapping Generations Model," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(3), pages 408-442, August.
    11. repec:eee:joecag:v:8:y:2016:i:c:p:85-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Arai, Real & Ueda, Junji, 2013. "A numerical evaluation of the sustainable size of the primary deficit in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 59-75.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hit:ecorev:v:62:y:2011:i:1:p:44-56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Digital Resources Section, Hitotsubashi University Library) or (Mikhail Salazkin). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.