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The Role of Public Works in the Political Business Cycle and the Instability of the Budget Deficits in Japan


  • Naoyuki Yoshino

    (Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita Minato-ku Tokyo, 108-8345 Japan.)

  • Tetsuro Mizoguchi

    (Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita Minato-ku Tokyo, 108-8345 Japan.)


This paper discusses the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) ability to maintain a majority of seats in the Diet after WWII by focusing on the role of public investment. The paper discusses three periods, namely, (i) the high-growth period (1950 to 1985), (ii) the asset bubble period (1986 to 1990), and (iii) the period of economic downturn after the bubble (post 1990). During the high-growth period, government investment had a strong positive output effect and it increased the tax revenue in the medium and long run. The high rate of private capital formation boosted growth and tax revenue even further. During the asset bubble period of the late 1980s, Japanese tax revenue increased due to high asset and property prices, and growth stayed high because of strong aggregate demand. The Japanese economy experienced slower growth after the asset bubble burst. The LDP continued its high-spending policy by issuing Japanese government bonds (JGB) to finance the deficits but has not been able to revive growth to previous levels. Accumulated government debt now amounts to 180 percent of GDP and it will be difficult to issue any more JGB. Fiscal policy in post-bubble Japan no longer fulfilled the stability conditions that were identified by Blinder and Solow (1974). (c) 2010 The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Naoyuki Yoshino & Tetsuro Mizoguchi, 2010. "The Role of Public Works in the Political Business Cycle and the Instability of the Budget Deficits in Japan," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 9(1), pages 94-112, Winter/Sp.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:9:y:2010:i:1:p:94-112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, July.
    2. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Pearce, David & Stegman, Alison, 2007. "Long term projections of carbon emissions," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 637-653.
    3. John B. Taylor, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong," NBER Working Papers 14631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Hoffmann & Gunther Schnabl, 2016. "Adverse Effects of Ultra-Loose Monetary Policies on Investment, Growth and Income Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 5754, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Martin Weder, 2013. "Will Europe Face A Lost Decade? A Comparison With Japan's Economic Crisis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    3. Cheong, Siew Ann & Fornia, Robert Paulo & Lee, Gladys Hui Ting & Kok, Jun Liang & Yim, Woei Shyr & Xu, Danny Yuan & Zhang, Yiting, 2011. "The Japanese economy in crises: A time series segmentation study," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-24, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. repec:wsi:acsxxx:v:15:y:2012:i:supp0:n:s0219525912500579 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Naoyuki Yoshino & Tetsuro Mizoguchi, 2013. "Change in the Flow of Funds and the Fiscal Rules Needed for Fiscal Stabilization," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 9(1), pages 51-70, January.
    6. Gunther Schnabl, 2013. "The Macroeconomic Policy Challenges of Balance Sheet Recession: Lessons from Japan for the European Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4249, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Schnabl Gunther, 2013. "Die japanischen Lehren für die europäische Krise," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 3-22, April.
    8. Yoshino, Naoyuki & Mizoguchi, Tetsuro & Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy Rule for Achieving Fiscal Sustainability: A Japanese Case Study," ADBI Working Papers 531, Asian Development Bank Institute.

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